States require an RN to obtain a license for a number of reasons. Chiefy, a license shows the public that you are competent nurse. You must complete an accredited nursing program, pass the national license exam, pay the required fees, and pass a background check to receive a license. This is a method for the state to require compliance in medical practices—and ultimately protect the public’s health and safety.
Every state has a nursing license renewal process. That means if you have a license, you will need to apply for a new license before your current one expires. Typically, an RN license will expire two years after the issued date. It’s imperative to complete the renewal requirements before this expiration date.
The RN License Renewal Process
Scientists and physicians work around the clock to create better techniques and advanced methods of care. Medications, treatments, and procedures may also evolve throughout your career. An RN license expires to ensure that every nurse is up to date with modern healthcare practices. To renew this license, often a nurse will be required to complete continuing education courses (CEUs), complete a background check, and pay a new round of fees.
The State Board of Nursing in PA will notify you biennially when your nursing license is up for renewal. Regardless of receiving this notification, you will be responsible for restoring your credentials in the correct time frame.
You can begin this process by visiting your state’s Board of Nursing website. The online renewal application is a seamless process that generally gets approved within three working days. Every state requires nursing license renewal, but all of the requirements are not the same. The requirements will be available on the website as you begin the renewal.
What Happens If I Do Not Renew My RN License?
When an RN license isn’t renewed by the expiration date, it’s considered delinquent. A delinquent status means that the nurse has not communicated with the State Board of Nursing and has just let the expiration date lapse. Continuing to work as an RN with an expired license can lead to practicing without benefit of licensure (BON). BON is illegal and can result in large fines, probation, or even suspension. In severe cases, working with an inactive or delinquent status can result in legal disciplinary action, which will require that you obtain legal counsel. It’s vital to renew your credentials in order to continue to work as an RN.
What if I Need to Extend the Expiration Date of My RN License?
To file an extension on your RN license renewal, you must visit the State Board of Nursing website. Once you are on the website, you can find the information to submit your extension request form. In times of necessity, the Board will approve an extension.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, PA issued extensions to a variety of nursing licensure, pushing back RN license expiration deadlines more than six months. If you had recently allowed your license to expire, you were given the opportunity to work the front lines without proper renewal. RN Nurses that held retired credentials were allowed to care for patients without regaining an active license status.
RN Job Outlook
The benefits of maintaining nursing licensure are worth fighting for an extension. Don’t allow your credentials to expire. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the hassle of late fees and reactivation processes.
Ultimately, all of this effort is worth it to continue working as an RN. The outlook for RN jobs is looking better than ever. CynaMed can secure your dream RN position based around your availability, experience, and skill set. We only work with reputable health care clients that offer competitive wages, friendly environments, and flexible schedules. Contact us to begin a new journey as an LPN today.