The Pitfalls of Maintaining RN Licensure in Multiple States

The Pitfalls of Maintaining RN Licensure in Multiple States


RN licenseIf you have been a traveling nurse for a few years you will have several licenses from several states.  Knowing what to do when it’s time to renew these licenses can be daunting.  Do you simply let it expire? Keeping all of your licenses active as a Travel Nurse can become expensive. What are the pitfalls of Maintaining RN licensure in multiple states?

The best option for maintaining your license is to remember to place your license on an inactive status with each state before it expires as each state has specific requirements for reinstating a license.  

Below are listed a few example states and their requirements.

Compiled for you by: Teresa Posthumus, RN


If you allow your license to expire, you may have it reinstated by submitting a renewal form to the OSBN office with the appropriate late fees. If you do not renew your license within 60 days of its expiration date, it will need to be reactivated (with additional fees) and undergo a national criminal background check.

The process of reactivating an Oregon nursing license that has been expired more than 60 days.

Generally, you are eligible for reactivation if your Oregon nursing license has been expired for more than 60 days, provided you are otherwise qualified. Specifically, you must meet the OSBN’s education, practice and legal requirements: You must have worked as a nurse, at the level for which you are seeking license or above, for at least 960 hours during the last five years. Exceptions: If you graduated from an approved nursing program with a degree appropriate for the licensure level you seek within the last five years, you are eligible for Reactivation. Please note: Continuing education cannot be used to meet the practice requirement.

  • All licensure and renewal applications are run through the Oregon Law Enforcement Data System and may be run through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Information Systems and Disciplinary Databank. Including false or misleading information on your application may result in a denial of licensure, disciplinary action, and/or a civil penalty ranging from $100 to $5,000.
  • Complete a national criminal background check.  Fee $52.00
  • Reactivation (licenses that has expired 61+ days) $265.00


  • Expired license more than one year, but less than three years.  Send in application with fees.
  • Expired license for more than three (3) years Send in application with fees, and include a copy of a current/active license from another state.  Fingerprints are also required for and additional fee.
  • RN expired license re-issuance (this fee plus renewal and late renewal fees) $70.00
  • RN license renewal (annually on birthdate) $97.00 **
  • **RN late renewal penalty (this fee plus the renewal fee if late) $50.00
  • RN verification of licensure/education $25.00


Texas is one of the more difficult states to renew an expired license. It not only requires late fees, but an exam and ethics course.

If your nursing license has expired, submit copies of continuing education certificates, any application for renewal received after the expiration date shall be charged a late fee.

  • LATE RN RENEWAL (1 to 90 days past expiration date) Fee: $130.00
  • LATE RN RENEWAL (OVER 90 days past expiration date) Fee: $190.00
  • If your Texas RN license has been expired for more than four years, and you have practiced as a registered nurse in another state within the last four (4) years, then you must comply with Rule 217.6 (d) which requires the completion of the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam (NJE) in addition to one of the following: the online Texas Board of Nursing Jurisprudence Prep Course, the Texas Board of Nursing Jurisprudence and Ethics Workshop, or a Texas Board of Nursing approved Nursing Jurisprudence and Ethics course. It is your responsibility to submit both of the completion certificates (NJE and choice of prep course/workshop/course) to our office. Your RN license cannot be renewed until all requirements are met.


You must submit a written request for a paper application AND submit a self-addressed stamped ($1.31) business size envelope with a paper application it will take an average of 29 days from the time the application is received until the license is issued. Total amount due if not requesting a temporary license $200.

  • VERIFICATION OF YOUR ORIGINAL STATE OF LICENSURE most states are verified through a $30.00 fee applies for this verification.
  • All applicants must submit documentation regarding their citizenship/nationality/alien status to complete licensure reinstatement.
  • Fingerprints required: each applicant for initial licensure is required to submit a full set of fingerprints with the completed application. You are only exempt from this requirement if you have submitted a fingerprint card to the Arizona Board of Nursing within the previous two years. The fingerprint card you receive from AZBN must be the card you use for fingerprints, since it has specific agency data pre-printed on it. RN / LPN Endorsement Applicants $50 fee.

As you can see some states have a lot of requirements and fees while other states are much easier to get reinstated.  Many states also have specific CEU’s that must be maintained in order to fulfill their educational requirements. The best option is to simply contact the BON and request that your license be placed on ‘Inactive’ status. Generally a license on inactive status simply requires a standard renewal fee and compliance with the state CEU requirements.

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  1. The article “Pitfalls of Maintaining Licenses in Multiple States” was great. This is a subject that travel nurses need to think about.. it can effect them professionally and financially. Long term planning for which licenses best enhance a traveler’s career is a must. Good, honest, and candid insight.

  2. New Jersey is an especially expensive state to reinstate — around $450.00 unless you put your license on inactive status. So, this article is very important.

  3. When I first applied for my oregon licensure, The website said that a license was good for two years. Therefore I anticipated my 2 year anniversary as a nurse in oregon to be up in 3 months. As I was preparing to auto renew, to my horror, on the website, it says my license expired last year, 11 months from when it was originally issued. I was out of state when I originally was issued my license. The only thing I can think of is maybe I haven’t kept up w/ my address change?
    Please advise, as I am utterly disillusioned, and completely panicked
    Thank you
    PS/ Absolutely no actions against my license in this, or any other state

    • Depending on where you were in the ‘cycle’ for renewals would have depended on when the license was due. You should be able to simply pay the late fee and renew without any difficulties. It’s very important to make sure that you keep track of when ALL of your nursing licenses expire. I generally place a reminder on my calendar and set it to auto repeat and send out an alert.