Each state is responsible for creating the state’s licensing and renewal requirements for a nurse. Therefore, the procedure to obtain a nursing license and have a license reinstated varies by state. However, many states make it easy to renew a nursing license, even if the license has been inactive for a number of years. Renewing a nursing license can make you eligible to obtain employment in one of the fastest growing careers in the country.
Contact your state’s licensing board. Each state has different fees and requirements for renewing an inactive nursing license. For example; if the nursing license has been inactive for a long period, you may be required to take and pass the state’s licensing examination again.
Complete a nursing license renewal form. The renewal form is usually available on the state’s website, or you can contact the licensing board to ask them to mail the appropriate form to you. Complete the entire form and sign the bottom before you submit it to the licensing board.
Pay any applicable fees to reactivate the nursing license. The fee to renew an inactive nursing license varies by state. In addition, you should ask the licensing board the form of payment the licensing board accepts, as many nursing licensing boards do not accept cash or credit card payments.
Fulfill any continuing education courses requirements necessary to renew your nursing license. Some states require an inactive nurse to complete continuing education or clinical hours before the licensing board will reinstate a nursing license. Ensure you only complete continuing education through an institution acceptable to the state’s nursing board.
Submit all information to the state’s licensing board. Do not send the original copy of any documents, including your nursing license or continuing education certificate, but provide photocopies.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.