When you graduate from a nursing program and get your license as a registered nurse, you probably don't think ahead to when you'll need to go through the steps for your RN license renewal. So when it comes up, you may feel overwhelmed about what needs to be done, worried that it will be done correctly, and afraid that something will happen to complicate things. But with a few simple steps, you can help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, and you can continue working as a nurse without any trouble.
Step One: Check your state guidelines.
Different states will have different guidelines for renewal. These guidelines include how often RN license renewal can take place, the specific process involved, and who needs to be informed of any updates and changes to your license. Since these guidelines vary state by state, it's important to make sure you're following the renewal guidelines for the state listed on your license.
Step Two: Check your license.
What is the status of your current RN license? Depending on this status, you may have a different procedure to follow for your RN license renewal. For example, if your license is active, your renewal may more straightforward than if you've let it lapse or expire. The details about this will likely be in the guideline information for your state.
Step Three: Contact your licensing board.
Before you actually go through the license renewal process, you may want to contact your local licensing board to make sure the information you have is accurate. Have there been any updates to procedures or dates? Is there anything you have to do differently based on your situation? Do you have any questions about your license that need to be answered first? By getting questions answered first, you may save yourself time and running around, and will make the process go much more smoothly.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to do some of your license renewal online, or you may have to do it in person.
Step Four: Renew your license and check the new one.
Take whatever steps you need in order to complete your RN license renewal. After doing your research and talking to the licensing board, you should know exactly what you need to do to renew your license, so it should be a relatively easy process.
Once you get your new license, be sure to check it! Make sure all the information is correct, and that you understand what comes with the renewal. Are there any changes to what you can or can't do? Does anything need to be corrected? Getting this taken care of right away will make it easier.
Step Five: Mark your calendar.
As soon as you have your new license, it's a good idea to mark on your calendar (or make a note somewhere) of when you'll need to renew your license again. By doing this as soon as you have your new license, you won't forget later and risk it sneaking up on you, or even passing you by. This will help you stay on top of things, and will make your RN license renewal much less stressful in the future.