If Your Nursing License Expires, Can You Renew It At Any Time?

2 minute read

To be a working nurse, you must have an updated nursing license. This ensures to the state and patients that a nurse is competent and up-to-date in their practices. Without a renewed license, your nursing status becomes inactive. The renewal process must be done bi-annually (once every two years). As a nurse, you are responsible for renewing your license before it expires. 

On the surface, the process of renewing your license seems simple. While completing all the steps may take some time, it is usually a painless experience. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the process has become increasingly irritating and complicated in recent years. 

Data in Pennsylvania has shown that delays in nursing licensure applications and renewals had taken three months or longer in 2020 and 2021, on average. This evidence rang true for many other states across the country. 

This means that many qualified and eager nurses are disqualified from candidacy. Unfortunately, having fewer nurses available played a negative role during the COVID-19 pandemic. This contributed to staff feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and overworked. 

As the pandemic has become more manageable, the licensure process has been able to catch up in the last two years. It is now possible to acquire temporary licenses and extensions. This article will discuss what to do if your license expires and how to keep it from expiring.

Renew Your License and Nursing License Lookup

The license renewal process varies state-to-state. According to the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing, renewing your license takes three days on average. Renewal applications become available 30 to 60 days before its expiration. For the renewal application, visit the Pennsylvania Department of State website. If you have any questions or confusion, you can contact the State Board of Nursing.

There are required documents to fill out and a $297 renewal fee. Pennsylvania also requires 2 hours of Child Abuse CE and 12 hours of emergency preparedness and infection control training. These trainings ensure that you are up-to-date on tactics to identify child abuse and fully comply with how to reduce the risk of spreading infections. 

Once you’ve completed your application, you’ll likely want to check the status of your renewal. Nursing license lookup can be found here. This will give you real-time updates about the status of your license. Although it takes three days on average to get your license renewed, receiving the renewed documentation in the mail usually takes 10-14 business days.

Ensure you keep all records of your renewal and proof of the continuing education you completed. This will ensure you are prepared if you’ve been selected for an audit. It is suggested to keep such records for up to six years. 

Nursing License Renewal: What Happens if My License Lapses?

Luckily, even if you don’t complete your nursing license renewal on time, you can still regain active status. You can file a reactivation application if your license has been active in the last five years. Like the standard renewal process, you must pay a fee and take several trainings. 

You will also need to take and pass a board-approved nursing achievement examination or the national licensure examination. 

Nursing Jobs Through CynaMed

Are you a licensed nurse looking for short-term, long-term, or permanent employment? CynaMed is here to help you find the perfect job for you. We know how important it is to be in the right work environment. With over 18 years in the healthcare staffing industry, CynaMed has the experience and know-how. We’re devoted to finding you the perfect match!

Ready to get started? Apply today!

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