The Easy Way to Maintain Multiple RN Licenses: Tips for Travel Nurses

By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

May 12, 2019

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The Pitfalls of Maintaining RN Licensure in Multiple States

Maintain multiple RN licenses – The Easy Way.  If you have been a traveling nurse for a few years you likely have several RN State licenses.  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.

Understanding Inactive Status for RN License

The best option to maintain multiple RN licenses is to place your license on an inactive status. This should be done with each state before it expires. Each state has specific requirements for reinstating a license.  Placing your license in inactive status can forego financial and paperwork headaches down the road.

Let it expire or Place on Inactive Status

Here are a few state examples of the difference between placing a license on inactive status vs. allowing the license to expire.

Oregon

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.

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. 
  • Complete a national criminal background check.  Fee $52.00
  • Reactivation (licenses that has expired 61+ days) $265.00

Washington

  • 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

Texas is one of the more difficult states to renew an expired license. Texas 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.

  • THERE IS NO GRACE PERIOD.
  • Fees can be up to $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 includes:
    • completion of the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam (NJE)
    • Online Texas Board of Nursing Jurisprudence Prep Course,
    • 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). All requirements must be met before re-instatement of license. 

Arizona

You must submit a written request for a paper application AND submit a self-addressed stamped business size envelope. Include a paper application. This takes 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 
  • Submit documentation regarding citizenship/nationality/alien status
  • Fingerprints required

In conclusion, some states have a lot of requirements and fees while other states are much easier to get reinstated.  Additionally, many states also have specific CEU’s that must be maintained.  It’s recommended to 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.

Most importantly, its good to note that Licensing timeframes can vary from state to state. Keep this cheat-sheet close as you look at job possibilities and states for travel nurses to license in.

If you are a new travel nurse, read over our Travel Nurse Guide for additional guidance and industry specific information.


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