As any current practical nurse will tell you, earning your LPN license is only half the battle. Maintaining it is a whole other process unto itself that requires taking Continuing Education (CE) courses, remaining employed and applying for renewal semi-regularly (usually every two-to-three years).
While the need for periodic license renewal is not something that is unique to Licensed Practical Nurses, it is something that you should be aware of if you’re considering a career in this profession. Fortunately, most employers support their staff members in this area, with many even going so far as to fit CE courses into their LPNs’ schedules.
Why is LPN License Renewal Required?
Practical nurses must periodically renew their licenses to show that they are aware of current industry standards and practices. This process is intended to protect employers and to allow practical and vocational nurses to continue to practice across state lines should they decide to relocate.
The Renewal Process
Specific requirements for LPN license renewal vary from one state to the next, but generally include some combination of the following:
- Certificate of completion from an accredited CE program
- Proof of employment since the last renewal
- Completion of an application for renewal within the state
- Payment of license renewal fees (in most states, this is between $100 and $200)
Whereas items 2 – 4 are fairly standard in all 50 states, there are significant differences in Continuing Education requirements in different areas. To find out about specific requirements in your area, we recommend this helpful directory from Nurse.com.
As is the case with most things these days, it’s now possible to renew your license online. Be advised, however, that most states offer this option only to those practical nurses who have not been subject to any disciplinary actions or moved from another state since their previous renewal.
About LPN License Verification
Employers will typically perform LPN license verification prior to hiring a job candidate. For this reason, it is imperative that any Licensed Practical Nurse who is applying for a new job make certain that his or her license is active and on file with the local board of nursing prior to applying for a position.
This process will reveal any past incidences that required disciplinary action, probation, etc. and will also provide the licensure history of the individual in question. Therefore, you should fully disclose your work history to any prospective employer and be prepared to discuss specifics.
For More Information
As mentioned above, to find out more about specific LPN license renewal procedures in your state, it is recommended that you contact your local board of nursing. Contact information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia can be found at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website (www.ncsbn.org).