is it worth it to keep your license active?

  1. long story short, i'm working toward getting out of nursing and back into self-employment in another profession. if all goes well, i should be able to quit nursing by the end of 2014. i'm conflicted about what to do re: keeping my license active, though.

    Everyone's saying "keep it active! you never know when you might need it" but it seems like with the nursing glut and whatnot, IF i needed or wanted to get a nursing job again years from now, no one would hire me anyway. why would they hire someone who hasn't worked as a nurse in 2, 3, 5+ years, when they could have a fresh out of school new grad or someone with current/recent experience? imho the market is too competitive to think that i could just breeze into picking up shifts as a nurse on a whim. it seems unrealistic. am i wrong about that? that's why i'm currently staying in nursing on a part-time/PRN basis until i'm sure i can support myself full time with my business- because i assume that once i'm out, i'm no longer going to be a competitive applicant for nursing jobs.

    if it was free or low-cost to keep my license active, that would be one thing - but CE courses, renewal fees, etc. add up and i hate wasting money. What would you do?

    posted here instead of "inactive/retired" forum because i'm interested in opinions from everyone, retired/inactive AND currently working.
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    About ceccia

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 276; Likes: 1,013


  3. by   xoemmylouox
    I would keep it active for a few more years as you just never know what's going to happen.
  4. by   lhflanurseNP
    You can go inactive. If you decide to get back into nursing, you will need to do some CE classes then pay to get reinstated. I don't know if it is more complicated now, but I went inactive for nearly 10 years and really had no problem getting my license reactivated.
  5. by   Esme12
    KEEP IT! It is difficult to reinstate. Do the CEU's and keep it.
  6. by   ghost43
    The facility where I work just hired a nurse who had been out for 16 years, she closed her business and wanted a little something to help with retirement. She only works 4 days a month and is happy to be back. They gave her extra time in orientation and we are all willing to help when needed. It would be easier to keep than to have to get back.
  7. by   anon456
    They offer refresher courses in case you want to get back into nursing again, but the wait is often long to get into those courses. My friend did this after being a stay at home mom for years. I don't know what is required to keep a license active but I do know when I was a stay at home mom and my old job was so out of date I was unemployable, I was insecure that if something happened to my husband I would not be able to provide for the family very easily.
  8. by   ThePrincessBride
    I would keep it especially in this day and age. Plus, you don't know if your plan will pan out and you can always work casual for some extra cash.
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    Here's a thought from another allied healthcare professional... who is going into nursing myself. I've been licensed as a Paramedic for the past dozen years. While it's not exactly cheap for me to do, I have found that it's a whole lot cheaper and easier to keep my license active. Each renewal cycle is also 2 years, and I must do 48 hours of CE every 2 years. If I lapse even ONE day, the CE requirements change a bit and it becomes more expensive to renew my license than if I do it on time every 2 years. Also, by keeping my license active, should I ever desire to go back into the field, even as a part-time employee, I don't have to go through the whole rigamarole of reactivating my license and then applying.

    I know a few Nurses that no longer work as Nurses... yet they keep their licenses active just because it's that much easier to keep things going than it is to have to go through the renewal process, because the CE requirements may change and make it more difficult to return to being a Nurse later.

    Besides, you invested many years of study and worked as a Nurse to earn that license. If you give it up, you'll effectively throw a lot of that work away. If you're going to leave the profession, make sure that you at least preserve your ability to return with little difficulty. Just don't let the license lapse.
  10. by   nursel56
    I was hired back into nursing after being out for years. I never intended to return but I kept paying the fees and was on "inactive" meaning all I needed was to take my 30 hrs of CEUs and I was good to go. I can't imagine having to retake the NCLEX on top of everything else that was going on in my life. For me, coughing up the bucks was well worth it in the end.

    Best wishes in the new endeavor!
  11. by   ceccia
    thanks. i was thinking of putting it inactive; as i understand, if i did that i would just have to take CEUs and pay a fee to get active status if needed.
  12. by   nursel56
    That's how it worked in my state back in 2004. Just to make sure you get the most accurate and current info it would be best to check with your state BON.
  13. by   wirehead
    You worked so hard to get it, many people struggle to get their license, keep it active, it's really not that expensive, it's not a waste of money, consider how much money it cost to get the license in the first place. Many people take years off to raise children and get back into the workforce, as the patient population continues to grow there will always be a demand for nurses. You could also use that as a bridge to a higher degree, maybe become an NP someday, the possibilities are endless. Keep it!