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I retired from nursing and I let my license lapse. Is there a way for a retired nurse to still carry a license?

Monday June 10, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I retired from nursing and I let my license lapse. Is there a way for a retired nurse to still carry a license?

Retired Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Retired Nurse,

You don't mention what state you held a license in. This is important because regulations vary. If you live in a state that does not require clinical hours for renewal, then you should be able to get your license reinstated by complying with any continuing education requirements and following the regular renewal procedures.

If you do live in a state that requires clinical hours for renewal, you may be able to meet that requirement with nurse volunteer work if you don't want to do any paid work. Otherwise, you might be able to keep your license, but on inactive status rather than letting it lapse. That way you always could activate it at a later time if you choose to.

Check with your state board of nursing to see what your options are. Contact them by email or phone. Each board responds differently to different means of communication.

I always advise retired nurses to hold onto their licenses and keep them active if at all possible. You just never know what the future holds or when an opportunity may come along that you'd like to take advantage of.

Best wishes,
Donna


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.