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What do I need to do to reinstate my RN license after a lapse due to a injury?

Thursday September 27, 2012
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Dear Donna,

Due to a traumatic spinal cord injury two years ago, I am now in a wheelchair. Last winter we moved and I did not receive notice that my license was about to expire until after the date had passed. I would like to regain my license in the hope I will be able to work from home when my health is more stable. I don't have enough continuing education hours, but I can complete those online. I haven't been able to find out what, if anything, I can do. I have been a nurse since 1969. What do I need to do to reinstate my RN license?

Needs To Be Reinstated

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Needs To Be Reinstated,

Because you do not mention what state you reside in, I cannot give you a specific answer (every state is different). However, I do know that many state boards of nursing do not specifically list this information on their website. Therefore, you will need to both call and email your state board of nursing for that information. You can find them at www.ncsbn.org/contactbon.htm.

It can take several days or weeks for the board to respond to inquiries, so be persistent and followup as necessary. Take care of this as soon as possible, as the more time lapses, the harder it may be to get reinstated.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.