If my RN license becomes inactive, will I have to take boards again to activate it?

By | 2021-05-07T16:32:28-04:00 July 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Dear Donna,

If I let my RN license become inactive, will I have to take boards again to make it active?

Wondering About Her License

Dear Wondering About Her License

If the state where you have your license has an inactive status (not every state does) then you usually have to take a refresher course to reactivate your license. You’ll have to check with your state licensing agency to see what it requires.

If by inactive you mean letting your license lapse, you might have to retake NCLEX to get it reinstated, depending on how long it has been lapsed.

For the record, I don’t recommend letting it lapse even if you are retired. You just never know when or how you might want to use it.

Best wishes,


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About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of DonnaCardillo.com. Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, 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." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.

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