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I’d like to reactivate my nursing license. How would I go about doing that?

Tuesday March 11, 2008
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Dear Donna,

I have been retired since 1992. I’d like to reactivate my license. How would I go about doing that? I retired due to illness. I’d like to return to nursing — not as a staff nurse but doing something less taxing physically.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear William,

Every state has different requirements for reinstating one’s license. Check with your state board of nursing on this. Find them at https://www.ncsbn.org/515.htm. The information may be on their website. If not, call and/or e-mail them.

For ideas about what to do, see the article “Is Retirement an Ending or New Beginning?” at http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/retirement.html. You can also contact some nursing agencies about nontraditional opportunities once you get your license reinstated.

And if getting your license reinstated is too challenging or you don’t want to be bothered, you might consider working for a hospital as a patient advocate, community elder-care coordinator, or something similar. There are a number of positions where your nursing background would be beneficial but you wouldn’t require a license.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional. 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.