Q:

How do you renew your RN license?

A:

Quick Answer

Contact your state's Board of Nursing to determine what steps you must complete for license renewal and the time frame for completing them. With exceptions, most states require that you renew your Registered Nursing license every two years with continuing education, practice hours and refresher courses.

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Full Answer

Contact your state Board of Nursing to determine the criteria for renewal ahead of your deadline so that you can plan your renewal activities. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing maintains a comprehensive list of all state Board of Nursing websites at NCSBN.org.

While most states allow two years for renewal, a few allow as little as one year. Several allow up to five years. While state-specific requirements vary, they typically require you to log practice hours with patients. The contact hour requirement roughly equates to 100 hours per year in many states.

Many states also require the completion of continuing education, or CE, training hours. Know your state’s CE requirement so that you can complete these training hours as needed. Additionally, some states require specific courses, tests or certifications before renewing your license.

Finally, be aware of the administrative component of the license renewal process. Almost every state requires the submission of an application that documents the completion of the renewal requirements, and sometimes state boards require sequencing the application with the completion of other requirements. This means that you must contact your state’s Board of Nursing to learn what administrative steps you must complete along with your other requirements.

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