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I am returning to the U.S. from the Phillipines and need advice on renewing my license.



Dear Donna,

I need advice on how to renew my Pennsylvania license, which was issued in 2008. I was told I need 30 continuing education hours in order to renew. I am in the Philippines and scheduled for an April 17 U.S. interview to obtain my visa. Do I have to do the CE hours right away? Is it okay to renew a Pennsylvania license when I may not work in that state? Where do I send my payments?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Elizabeth,

Yes, you should renew and keep up your Pennsylvania license. Then, when you come to the U.S. you will be ready to practice. If you did not receive your renewal notice, find the application, including payment information, here or call the board at 717-783-7142.

If you move and work in a state other than Pennsylvania, you can apply to your new state board of nursing for a license there by endorsement. Find a list of state boards of nursing at

Regarding the CE requirements: (
Pennsylvania RNs must complete 30 hours of board-approved CE during biennial renewal periods. If the expiration date on your RN license is April 30, 2012, then you must complete 30 hours of board-approved CE between May 1, 2010 and April 30, 2012. You can do these online at If you have additional CE questions, you can email our CE department directly at

Best wishes,


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’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 and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit

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