It is compulsory that an LPN license renewal must be done every year. It may have been difficult to renew your license before, due to having to personally physically go in to the Board of Nursing office, which may have entailed taking time off work and possibly even traveling a fair distance, the advent of the Internet has made the license renewal for LPN very easy nowadays.
There is now no longer any need to go to your state’s Board of Nursing office to renew your license; you can now do so via a number of reputable online websites.
The easiest way to check the status of your LPN license is to log onto your state’s Board of Nursing website, where you will be able to find out whether your license is still current, lapsed or under suspension. It is very important that you keep your LPN license updated and current, as employers may ask to check it at any stage and you will have problems if you are not licensed, including the possibility of losing your job. Prospective employers will also definitely insist on seeing your license before employing you, as all nurses, including Licensed Practical Nurses must be licensed before they can practice.
Remember that LPN license renewal does require a fee to be paid – you can either check with your state’s Board of Nursing or online as to what this fee is. The fee will differ according to what the state of your license is, as there are various fees for Active to Active, Inactive to Inactive, Active to Inactive, Inactive to Active, Active to Retired, and Inactive to Retired. Fees may also differ slightly from state to state. You will be able to access all the relevant information by either going to your state’s Board of Nursing offices or by checking on their website.
It is also pertinent that you bear in mind that the processing, printing, and mailing of a license renewal for LPN will take a few weeks, so it is recommended that you apply for your new license within a reasonable period prior to it expiring. Most State Boards will allow you to renew your LPN license online from three months prior to the expiration date to one year after expiration. You may be required to pay a visit to your state’s Board of Nursing office if your license renewal does not fall within those time periods. The best way to ensure that you are able to obtain the license renewal that you need is to check online. If you are lucky you can apply for and pay for your renewal then and there, in a matter of minutes, and without even having to step outside of our home or office, depending where you access the Internet.
Some Licensed Practical Nurses return to work after taking a few years off to raise a family, or for various other reasons, and this is no problem. If you have been unlicensed and inactive for a period of more than two consecutive biennial licensure cycles, however, you may very well be required to prove your competency before being awarded a license renewal. This will generally require you to either sit for a specially constituted examination or by demonstrating your competency by completing other reactivation requirements. If you are in this position then it is advisable that you rather pay a personal visit to the Board, as you will most probably not be able to achieve much online.
What You Will Need for LPN License Renewal
In order to renew your LPN license you will need to provide certain information, so it would be wise to ensure that you have the following handy before attempting to do so:
- A valid credit card – Most sites accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card. Some sites will only accept one or two of the above. Some sites will accept debit cards and others will not, so it is incumbent upon you to ensure which cards your Board’s site accepts. Some sites will also accept payment by Electronic Check.
- Your Social Security Number – In order to renew your license online the relevant Board must be in possession of your SSN. Your SSN is used to distinguish you from others with the same or a similar name, so you need to ensure that they have it on file.
- Your nursing license number
- Your date of birth
- A current billing address in the US or US Armed Forces
- A valid e-mail address – This is so that proof of payment can be mailed to you should you not be able to print it out once you have concluded the transaction. This proof of payment is important because it allows you to continue practicing even though your license may have expired, as it shows that you have submitted a timely application for your LPN license renewal.
- Evidence of active practice – You may be required to provide proof of a minimum of 1 000 hours of practice within a five year period. This is required for all licensed nurses, which includes those in administrative, teaching, or supervisory positions. It also includes those in any other positions that may require nursing knowledge, judgment and skill, and any other position which requires licensure for employment.
- Proof of a Refresher Course – If you have not been practicing of late but have recently completed a refresher course, this will satisfy the active practice requirement for license renewal for LPN.
Unfortunately, if you do not have a debit or credit card, or do not have one that your state’s Board accepts, you will have to renew your license by mail or make a trip to the Board offices in order to affect your LPN license renewal. You will also not be able to renew online if your license is in ‘Military, Active’ status, if you need to pay using a money order or a cashier’s check or if you want to change the status of your license.
Accessing the sites in order to renew your license is very simple and anyone can do it, even if you are a bit technologically challenged. All you have to do is to type in the name of your state and Board of Nursing, for example, Maryland Board of Nursing. Click on the link, which will take you to the relevant site, click on the link for LPN license renewal and follow the user-friendly instructions on how to complete the application for your license renewal. Remember to either print out the proof of payment or provide an e-mail address so that it can be sent to you. This is important for you to have in case your renewal takes longer than anticipated and you need proof that you have applied for a renewal.
Remember to change any information that may be incorrect at the same time, such as your address details. Also ensure that you provide honest and accurate information as requested on the renewal application form. This will ensure that your license renewal is processed quickly and also protect you against automatic loss of licensure if you neglected, for instance, to mention that you have been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, or disciplinary action in another state. Some renewal forms may also include questions which you must answer, and which are utilized as part of research into how many nurses are registered, LPN training requirements and various other workforce analysis required to deal with the current nursing shortage.
It is important to check the status of your license from time to time to make sure that all is in order. If you work for a large firm or other organization, they may have purchased a software program that can be used right then and there to check the status of your license. Alterations, important information, updates and reminders for LPN license renewal are generally sent to the employers in possession of these software programs in plenty of time, so that they can ensure that all the members of their staff are always legally licensed.
Most of the states are going or have already gone paperless in order to reduce the chances of fraudulent licenses and also because they are going green so reducing the amount of paper use is crucial. Nursing licenses are included on Provider Credential Search, and most employers or prospective employers use Provider Credential Search to verify current licensure. All updates and renewals are entered into the Provider Credential Search database regularly so their records are always current. This method of licensing also saves on postage, envelopes, paper and envelopes, and the savings are redirected towards projects and activities that protect the public, so it is a win-win situation all round.
Remember, whilst most states will send out courtesy reminder cards that inform you that it is time to get your license renewed approximately six to eight weeks before they are due, it is your responsibility to ensure that your LPN license renewal is done, and that it is done early enough to allow for at least three weeks for the processing of your application.