How to renew your nursing license in California 2024

How to renew your nursing license in California 2024

Best practices and knowledge in healthcare is constantly changing. To be sure that nurses meet a certain standard, they are all asked to periodically renew their licenses. Just like any other state, California nursing license renewal has its own unique requirements and processes. To ensure a smooth and stress free renewal process, we have provided a comprehensive guide that will go over everything you need to know about LVN, CNA and RN California license renewal. This includes requirements, steps, and more. It does not matter whether you are a seasoned veteran or a fresh RN graduate. At the end of the day, everyone could use a little help with these renewal requirements.

Why is there California license renewal at all?

Everyone knows you have to periodically renew your nursing license. This begs the question, however: why is this the case? The industry of healthcare is both constantly changing, and reliant on the finest margins. The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) mandates the renewal of nursing licenses to ensure that nurses remain competent and up-to-date with current nursing practices and regulations. The typical renewal period is every two years, with the expiration date falling on your birthday.

What are the continuing education requirements?

One of the key components of the license renewal process in California is completing continuing education (CE) requirements. The California Board of Nursing’s license renewal process requires RNs to complete 30 hours of CE during each renewal period. Here are some essential details about CE requirements:

  • Approved CE Providers: CE courses must be provided by institutions or organizations approved by the California BRN. Ensure that the courses you take are from accredited sources.
  • Course Content: The CE courses you choose should cover relevant topics in nursing practice, ethics, and law. These courses are designed to enhance your knowledge and skills, keeping you updated on the latest developments in healthcare.
  • Record-Keeping: Keep detailed records of your completed CE courses, including certificates of completion. These records will be essential when you renew your license, as you may be required to provide proof of completion.
  • Audit Process: Sometimes, California’s Board of Nursing will randomly select a handful of RNs to be audited for their CEs. If you are ever selected, you will need to provide documentation of your completed CE hours. Ensure that your CE records are accurate and readily accessible.

How do you renew your nursing license in California?

Whether you are submitting for an RN, LVN or CNA license renewal in California, you have to submit a renewal application to the California Board of Nursing.  Here’s a step-by-step guide to the renewal application process:

First you want to open the California BRN Website. Go to the license renewal section and log in with your personal information and number. After this, follow the instructions listed on screen. Fill out your application with complete and up-to-date information. Before submitting your application, double check the information you input, as it is hard to correct it after the fact. Once you have filled out the application, you will be asked to pay your renewal fee. Be sure you pay through a secure method (credit card is highly recommended.)

Why should I keep my contact information updated?

It’s essential to maintain accurate contact information with the California BRN. Here’s why:

  • Renewal Notices: The BRN will send renewal notices and other important communication to the mailing address and email address on file. Make sure both addresses are up-to-date to avoid missing critical information.
  • License Verification: Future employers or other organizations may need to verify your RN License. To avoid complications, keep your contact information accurate. This way they can draw from updated and accurate licensing information
  • Change of Address: If you change your mailing or email address, update this information promptly through the BRN website or by contacting the board directly.

Do I need to comply with a criminal background check?

While not applicable to all nurses, some may be selected for a criminal background check during the renewal process. Here are the key points to understand: For starters, nurses are randomly selected for this screening process. Stay calm, and do not assume that you are in trouble, just because you have to comply with a criminal background check. Also keep in mind that the BRN will send a notification informing you that you must submit to screening, along with requirements and a step-by-step guide. Just be sure to follow all these instructions carefully and on time.

How do I comply with state regulations?

Compliance with all California RN regulations is crucial to a smooth license renewal process. Whether you are applying for CNA, RN or LVN license renewal in CA, here are some important aspects to keep in mind:

  • Scope of Practice: Stay informed about the scope of practice for RNs in California. Ensure that your nursing activities fall within the legal boundaries defined by the state.
  • Professional Conduct: Uphold the highest standards of professional conduct throughout your nursing career. Ethical and responsible behavior is expected at all times.
  • Legal Updates: Stay updated on changes in California state laws and regulations that may affect nursing practice. The BRN website is an excellent resource for accessing current information.

How do I guarantee a smooth renewal process?

The renewal process does not have to be stressful or intimidating. To ensure a seamless renewal process, consider the following tips:

  • Plan Ahead: Start the renewal process well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush or potential issues.
  • Stay Organized: Keep copies of all your CE certificates and records, as well as any correspondence with the BRN.
  • Fees and Payments: Be aware of the renewal fee and ensure your payment is made promptly using a secure method.
  • Regularly Check Your Email: Keep an eye on your email for renewal notices and updates from the BRN.
  • Stay Informed: Stay informed about any changes in regulations and requirements through the official BRN website.


Healthcare providers need to be of a certain standard. Facilities and patients place a great deal of trust in their nurses, and license renewal assures them that it is well placed. By renewing your California nursing license, you show that you are committed to continuing your practice and providing the best and safest care services possible. By understanding the renewal process, meeting CE requirements, and staying compliant with regulations, you can navigate the process with ease. Remember to plan ahead, stay organized, and keep your contact information up-to-date to ensure a smooth license renewal experience. For the most current and detailed information, always refer to the official California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website.

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