North Carolina RN License Renewal Guide

renew rn license north carolina

Renewing your Registered Nurse (RN) license in North Carolina is a crucial step to maintain your nursing career. This comprehensive guide will take you through the process, including essential information and tips to ensure a smooth renewal. With proper preparation, research and foresight, you can make the renewal process as smooth and hassle-free as it can possibly be.

Understanding North Carolina RN License Renewal

Before diving into the renewal process, it’s essential to understand the basics. Your RN license must be renewed periodically to ensure you are up to date with the latest nursing practices and maintain your legal right to practice in North Carolina. Keep in mind that North Carolina RN licenses are typically renewed every two years.

In North Carolina, renewal notices are usually sent out at least 90 days before your license expiration date. Renewal involves completing continuing education (CE) requirements, paying the renewal fee, and ensuring your contact information is current with the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON).

Meeting Renewal Eligibility and Requirements

To renew your RN license in North Carolina, you must meet specific eligibility criteria and requirements. Note that these requirements can change at any time, based on new regulations or the whims of the North Carolina Board of Nursing. To stay on the safe side, be sure to always refer to the NCBON website for the most up-to-date information.

Verify your eligibility by ensuring you have completed the required CE hours. Keep documentation of your CE courses for verification. Note that the CE requirements may vary depending on the type of RN license you hold and any additional certifications.

Completing Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

Continuing education is a fundamental part of RN license renewal. It ensures that you stay current with the latest healthcare practices and developments in the field. You must complete a specific number of CE hours as part of your renewal process.

North Carolina typically requires RNs to complete a certain number of CE hours during each renewal period. The number of required CE hours can vary depending on your license type and any additional certifications. Put simply, the CE requirements for another RN may not be reflective of what you have to fulfill. Document all your CE activities and keep the records handy for the renewal process. It is also important that you complete these CE hours with an accredited facility, or else your efforts will not be recognized.

Online Renewal Process

The NCBON has made the renewal process convenient by allowing RNs to renew their licenses online. Here’s a step-by-step guide for online renewal:

  • Log in to your NCBON License Gateway account.
  • Follow the instructions for renewal, and provide the necessary information and documentation.
  • Pay the renewal fee online, which can vary based on your license type and any additional certifications.

License Verification

In some instances, you might need to provide proof of your RN license for various purposes. North Carolina offers an online verification system for this purpose, making it easy for employers and other entities to confirm your licensure. Use the NCBON’s online verification system to provide proof of your RN license. Ensure that your license is listed and active in the system.

Background Check and Fingerprinting

Depending on your specific circumstances, the NCBON may require a background check and fingerprinting as part of the renewal process. This is usually necessary every five years. Check the NCBON website for specific requirements related to background checks and fingerprinting. Be prepared to complete these steps if required to ensure a smooth renewal process.

Late Renewal

As much as possible, you want to avoid submitting your renewal application and requirements late. Missing the renewal deadline can result in additional fees and requirements. Here’s what to do if you’ve missed the renewal deadline:

  • Check with the NCBON for instructions on renewing an expired license.
  • Be prepared for additional fees or requirements, which may include a background check and fingerprinting.

Continuing Competence Audit

Some RNs may be selected for a continuing competence audit. If you are audited, you will need to submit evidence of your continuing education activities. Be sure to maintain accurate records of your CE activities. Keep detailed records of your continuing education activities. Be prepared to submit evidence if selected for a continuing competence audit.

Renewal Fees

Renewing your RN license involves paying the required renewal fee. Fees can vary depending on your license type and any additional certifications you hold. Verify the current renewal fee structure on the NCBON website. Ensure that you pay the appropriate fee to complete your renewal.

Confirmation of Renewal

Once you’ve submitted your renewal application and payment, you should receive confirmation from the NCBON. This confirmation is essential to ensure that your license is successfully renewed.Keep all documentation related to your renewal, including CE certificates, payment receipts, and correspondence with the NCBON. Verify that you have received a confirmation of your renewal to ensure your license status is updated.


Renewing your RN license in North Carolina is a straightforward process. There may be a number of requirements you need to sift through, but it is mostly a matter of preparing early and staying sufficiently well informed. As long as you are diligent, the entire renewal process can be a fairly hassle-free endeavor. It’s essential to stay up to date with the latest information and changes in renewal procedures, so regularly check the North Carolina Board of Nursing website for the most current details.

By following this comprehensive guide and keeping accurate records of your CE activities and renewal documentation, you’ll ensure a smooth and hassle-free renewal process. Maintaining an active RN license in North Carolina is essential for your career and ensures that you can continue to provide quality care to patients in the state.

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