04.01 License Maintenance

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Included In This Lesson



  1. Governed by States
    1. Compact states
    2. License by exam
      1. Graduation with degree
      2. NCLEX
      3. Self-reporting criminal activity
      4. Background check
      5. School transcripts
      6. English language proficiency
      7. Good moral character
    3. License by endorsement
      1. Applying for license in a new state
      2. Similar process to initial process (see above)
    4. License renewal
      1. Requirements vary by state
        1. CE’s
        2. Practice hours
        3. Professional activities
        4. Renewal period
        5. Fees
    5. Inactive license
      1. For retirement or just taking a break
    6. Re-activting
      1. Self-assessment
      2. Refresher course
  2. Tips
    1. Sign up for reminders through the state licensing board
      1. Emails and snail mail will be sent
      2. Helps avoid missing renewal date
    2. Set alert on mobile calendar
    3. Keep track of things
      1. Training/CE’s
      2. Work hours


Today we’re going to be talking about nursing license maintenance, so basically, how to keep it once you’ve got it!

Nursing licenses are governed by the individual states by the board of nurses for that state.  This means that specific requirements will vary a little bit from state to state. Some states have chosen to create a compact state license agreement.  This just means that if your state has agreed to be part of this, your license is valid in any of the other compact states.  

There are a types of license applications to consider.  The first is the one you are probably the most familiar with, getting your license by exam.  The second is license by endorsement, this is when you are moving states and apply for license from another state.  The third, and what we are focusing on is an application to renew your license.

Typically, for a license renewal application you will be expected to show proof of continuing education and practice hours.  The number of hours required will vary per state. You will need to show that you are still in good standing with the board- meaning there are no criminal proceedings going on against you and you haven’t done anything illegal.  

Renewal periods will vary per state.  My current state is every 2 years. Fees will also vary.  I think probably somewhere between 75$ and 200$.

Renewal really isn’t difficult it’s just one of those things you have to remember to do.  I’ve got a couple of tips for you! First,, find the board of nursing website for your state.  This will have all the information you need about how and when to renew.. Second, you can also sign up and make an account and usually you can request to have reminders sent to you when it’s nearing time for renewal.  

Third, make sure you keep track of your CE’s.  4th, try to keep a log of your hours worked, keeping pay stubs to refer to this might help!  

5th, Don’t wait until the last minute!  You do not want to wait to get your CE’s done and then spend the 24 hours before your renewal date frantically looking for free training. 

Okay so to recap! Nursing licenses are governed by individual states and their board of nurses..  Typically renewing a license requires that you complete CE’s, log professional practice and that you pay a fine. It’s not a complicated process it just has to be done!  So set up reminders for yourself and make sure to keep track of your training documents.

We love you guys! Go out and be your best self today! And as always, Happy Nursing!