How to Renew Your LPN License

As a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN, you already know that you must adhere to conduct standards determined by your state, one of which is to maintain your licensed status. Your state credentials you originally obtained is nearing its expiration date, and now you're needing to know how to renew your LPN license to continue working in this rewarding healthcare field.

Things You Should Already Know

You learned about the licensing procedure as you first ventured into the work force. Therefore, you should already know

  • Timing - Most states allow an LPN license two to four years of viability before expiration. Your state's Board of Nursing should have included that information in your test authorization packet if your school did not include it in its curriculum. Some states require an application to be submitted no less than three months prior to your license's expiration date. Others may allow for renewal as early as six months beforehand. If you don't recall this information, contact your state's Board of Nursing for current and accurate data.
  • Cost - Just as your original application incurred a fee for testing, so does your renewal application. Fortunately, most states don't charge the same amount for a renewal request, but the issuing agency should have the renewal fee information available.
  • Qualifications - Most states require a predetermined number of continuing education credits, and before you begin your renewal process, you should have proof of those hours already accumulated and ready for submission.

Steps to Prepare

Before you complete a form and attach your proof of credits, review your packet to ensure the information is accurate and complete. Check specifically for

  • Transcripts and ensure all courses taken are included and noted correctly.
  • Professional conferences and seminars are documented, for you may have earned education credits for those as well if they were on an approved course list.
  • Legitimate websites for your state's issuing authority. Review the renewal qualifications and requirements to triple-check you have everything you need. Many state sites allow and sometimes even prefer an electronic submission of your renewal packet. They often provide a means to pay your renewal fee, streamlining your entire process by leveraging today's technology.

Wait Periods

You might receive temporary authorization licensing, pending formal processing of your renewal packet. If so, you can immediately update your own and your employer records with that information. However, do not forget to periodically check the status of the formal and officially renewed license. A gap of even one day can undermine your dedication, expertise and reputation: Do not work even one shift without a current license in your employer's and your possession. Liability risks are too high.

In most cases, you should allow up to 30 days from submission before contacting the Board of Nursing for status, provided you have not received your renewed LPN notice. Ensure you have your submission and payment confirmation data on hand, for you will refer to it when you contact them, whether by phone, email or a 'Contact Us' form off a website.

Always keep copies of all submitted information in case your packet was lost or destroyed. Resubmission is always easier and faster when you have your data at your fingertips.

Well before your current license expires, verify how to renew your LPN license. Contact your state's issuing authority, the Board of Nursing, for precise answers, for each state has its own requirements, time periods, processes and fee schedules. Allow enough time between complete packet submission and your expiration date for full processing, and don't let too much time expire before verifying your renewal's status. When in hand, ensure both your employer and you have available the renewed LPN license to avoid interruptions in your work flow and schedule and to heighten your professional reputation.

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