Renewing Your Nursing License Before Expiration: 5 Key Points

Nurses have to periodically renew their credentials, if they want to keep practicing. Specific renewal requirements and periods will differ, depending on state laws, but pretty much every nurse in America has to go through this process.

This is not a requirement you want to cram. Before your license expires, every document, requirement and payment must be in order. 

Before you find yourself scrambling for your right to practice, here are 5 must-know facts about nurse licensure renewal. 

Look up your state’s licensing requirements 

How many Continuing Education Units (CEUs) do you need to fulfill? When does your license expire? How much do you need to pay, upon renewal? 

There is no universal answer, because each state has their own specific requirements. As soon as possible, you want to familiarize yourself with state-specific requirements. 

You can often find these details on your state nursing board’s official website or nursing portal. Failing this, contact them directly via email or telephone. 

Verify your licensure status 

If you are not already aware of your renewal window, there is a small chance that your license is already expired.  Even if it is active, if you incur certain infractions, this could further complicate the renewal process.

To ensure your license is active and in good standing, you want to verify it before proceeding any further. Thanks to NurseSys, this process can be completed on your local nursing board’s official website or an official nursing portal 

Complete your continuing education requirements 

Every state has different CEU requirements. Most states will make you fulfill a certain number of contact hours, which is 60 minutes of an educational activity. 

In many places, a portion of the requirement can be completed with bedside nursing hours. Other times, you will have to complete  state-approved lectures, webinars or workshops. If your license was suspended or expired, you may be forced to take full courses if you want to practice again. 

Once you are finished, you will be provided with documented proof of CEU completion. You have to submit this in the next step, so be sure to keep it in a safe place. 

Get your documents and payments in order 

Your State Nursing Board will ask you to provide a number of signed documents, before they can process your renewal. Be sure to answer every field with accurate and up-to-date information. This will include (but is not limited to) your legal name, current billing address, social security number and documentation that verifies the completion of your CEU requirements. 

They will also ask you to pay a licensing fee. While the exact amount will depend on the state, it will always go up if you are trying to renew an already-expired license. 

Get everything done as soon as possible 

Cramming your nursing license renewal can lead to unwanted stress and anxiety, in the future. That is why most states let you apply for renewal well in advance. 

Find out when your license expires, as soon as possible. When you know exactly when your license expires, you will know how much time you have to fulfill your requirements.

With this knowledge, you can plan ahead of time. This will let you complete your requirements at a reasonable time, with none of the hassle or stress associated with cramming. 

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