Keeping License Active?

  1. Just out of curiosity.....how long after leaving nursing did you keep your license active?

    I'm asking because it's almost time to renew mine, and though I've been out of nursing for almost a year, I want to leave the door cracked just in case a job I can handle comes up. I plan to renew my license this time, and then see what happens in the next couple of years before deciding whether or not to give it up.

    I'm 55 and don't see myself ever going back to the floor or management. {{{shivers}}} But I can imagine doing something like telephonic or advice nursing, which is probably nice work if you can get it. (I've applied for Social Security Disability but I want to work at least a few hours a week if possible.)

    The other thing is, I've heard that some states allow a nurse to hold a "retired" or "inactive" status by paying a fee to the BON. What would be the advantages of that as opposed to allowing your license to lapse? Inquiring minds want to know!
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   Esme12
    On SSDI you can work no more than $700.00/month. I say keep your license. It depends on your state some states do not allow you to keep your license "active" if you haven't "worked" in 5 years. Other states don't care. Other states allow retired/inactive status some don't I have found it is very state specific. Some states are very difficult to "re-activate" your license once inactive without a refresher course that cost around $5,000.00 to $8,000.00
  4. by   Cricket183
    I kept my license active for about 18 months after I went on disability (at age 40). At that point I placed it on inactive status, which is an option in my state. There is no fee to do so here.

    Looking back, I really wish that I had just kept my license active. I would like to write a book and also start a local support group for chronic pain patients using my RN credentials. However, since my license is inactive, I cannot officially use the title RN without re-activating my license. Unfortunately, to re-activate it, I am required by my state's BON to take a refresher course (as it has been more than 4 years since I practiced as a nurse) which includes a clinical component of 96 hours. I have RSD and right now I would not physically be able to pass the clinical portion.

    I started new treatments for my RSD in December 2013 and am responding well. I really hope that within the next 1-2 years I will be at the point where I can take the required course and renew my license.

    I would recommend checking with your state's BON and seeing what their requirements are. If you think you will ever use your license again (even on a volunteer basis), I would keep it active.
  5. by   caliotter3
    My supervisor friend who had been coaxed back into a position three times after retiring, told me that she was preventing that from ever occurring again by returning her license to the state. She didn't even wait for renewal time. Of course, I probably would have been doing the same thing at 78 or 79 years old. At some point, enough is enough.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    It does sound like I have nothing to lose by keeping my license active, at least for the next two years. After that I probably won't have enough practice hours, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I checked my state's BON website and they do have a Retired RN designation. But then of course I couldn't practice nursing in any capacity, and I sure as heck don't want to have to go back through a re-entry program should a job opportunity arise that I could handle. Thank you all for the advice.
  7. by   Esme12
    Does your state require clinical hours to keep your license active?
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I've had enough clinical hours in the past 2 years to be able to renew. Next time I'll probably have to give up my license for lack of practice hours. But I'm not going to worry about it now, and who knows, maybe I'll find one of those non-clinical positions and stay in.....anything could happen.
  9. by   csern
    I made it to 71....going to renew license one time at least as I would like to try a work at home via PC, or pen work at small MD offices here in my small town. I'm having trouble finding anything that's "work at home". Anyone have any suggestions...Anyone, please.
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  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    Wow, I'm impressed! I knew I'd never make it to 70 as a nurse, but I'd hoped for better than 55.

    As far as work-from-home situations go, I think it would be worth it to look into doing reviews for insurance companies. It's nice work if you can get it.....I have a friend who does that part-time for Providence. The pay isn't great but it's better than nothing. Try going to their websites and see what's under their Careers tabs.
  11. by   sissiesmama
    I had thought about the same type of thing, Viva - but I decided not to renew when it came time - after I had my CVA in the spring. I really wasn't for sure, but gave myself that year to see how my medical issues were going to work out.

    I do miss nursing but I have learned to relax - and take things at a slower pace.

    I had my disability appeal hearing on August 12th and still waiting on the results. This is my second try - I'm hoping for positive results this time. My cardiologist wrote a 4 page letter with my history, ect to take with me to the hearing. I've just never been the best at playing the "hurry up and wait" game. 😁

    Hugs! Anne
  12. by   R. Obias Jr., R.N.
    allowing your license to expire or lapse means you are letting go of a large part of your life, that is the ability to help others who are in need of nursing intervention.what you have learned in nursing school will forever be with you as long as you can remember them. I, myself have never been fully employed in a hospital setting but I will be renewing my nursing license this november 2014. this allows me to keep in touch with the nursing society, allows me to provide assistance with nursing issues for I am still a licensed/registered nurse. Nursing is a lifetime profession , it may be for other patients, your own family members or even yourself, your nursing career goes on as long as you can manage it, I advise every nurse in the field , not to give up your nursing career, this is your calling and passion in life, far more greater than other careers who only aspire for an early retirement.
  13. by   csern
    Yes, having waited for my husband's disability, he has Parkinson's, I know the waiting game they make you play...
  14. by   sallyrnrrt
    at 65/ i an vacattioning in family practice, 4-4&1/2 &days a week........sorta keeps my foot in the door, as long as cognition permits safe practice

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