The exact requirements for renewing a nursing license vary among states, but they often require completing continuing education hours, paying a fee and submitting required paperwork, according to the California Board of Registered Nurses. Nurses may also have to show proof of completing continuing education hours.
Depending on the state, a nurse may not be able to renew a license three months before its expiration date, notes the California Board of Registered Nurses. When the time comes to renew, the nurse may do so online, in person or by mail. Nurses can choose to receive renewal forms through the mail or download them online.
Nurses who pay the license renewal fee but fail to complete the required continuing education courses may have an inactive license, according to the California Board of Registered Nurses. In this event, the nurse has to show proof of completing the required continuing education hours within the past two years before the state board activates the license again.
A nurse who has a lapsed license for more than eight years in one state and doesn't have an active license in another state must pass the licensing examination again, according to the California Board of Registered Nurses. In this situation, temporary licenses are not eligible for the purpose of renewing a lapsed license.