Not paying license renewal fees on time (random thoughts)


Over the years I've known several nurses who allowed their nursing licensure to temporarily lapse due to not paying the renewal fee on time. This phenomenon has always interested me for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the renewal fee in the state where I live is $67 once every two years. In other words, it is $33.50 annually when broken down. This amount of money would not seem like a steep economic hurdle to climb for most middle-income nurses.

Secondly, these nurses are taken off the schedule by HR or management until the moment that their licensure reflects active status. Therefore, they are not earning any money while their licensure is lapsed or delinquent, sometimes for several weeks.

Finally, the majority of the nurses I've known who have failed to pay their renewal fees on time appear to use very expensive phones, drive late model cars, and eat fast food or carry-out restaurant meals regularly.

Paying my license renewal fee is a priority for me because, without my licensure, I can no longer generate the income to pay for anything else. If I ever found myself in such a bind that I had to choose which bill to pay, I would always pay the renewal fee first or, at the very least, borrow the money to pay the renewal fee. After all, without an active license, payments for the top-of-the-line phone, nice car, or restaurant food would soon cease to occur.



3,726 Posts

1) reluctance to invest time/effort in anything nursing off the clock.

2) passive agressive way of being pulled off the schedule (which may be done subconsciously).

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Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,329 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

Heck, if it were to the point of not having enough to pay my $65 renewal fee, I'm breaking out the credit card that is literally on ice. Like, frozen into a container of water in my freezer literally on ice. That renewal fee is definitely worth the effort of unfreezing it, using it, potentially accruing interest on it, and refreezing it so I can't use it for impulse purchases (the reason it's on ice to begin with). I need my paycheck and thus my job.

Agree, it could be a passive aggressive way to get some time off, but I would think that if it happens more than once an employer is going to catch on. Mine even goes above and beyond to constantly email those with nearing expirations to get them done or face the consequences.

Horseshoe, BSN, RN

5,879 Posts

I don't think it has anything to do with being able to afford the fee.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
2) passive agressive way of being pulled off the schedule (which may be done subconsciously).
You have a good, salient point. Nonetheless, this move can backfire.

About eight years ago, one of my former managers actually hired a nurse to replace one whose license was lapsed for three weeks. After three weeks, this manager was no longer willing to wait for the license to become active.

It was creating staffing issues that needed prompt resolution. After all, the nurse whose licensure had lapsed due to late payment was a weekend plan nurse, and weekend staffing is notoriously difficult to arrange.

The nurse was welcome to return to work once the renewal payment was applied and her license became active. However, she lost her sweet weekend Baylor Plan position in the process.


5,978 Posts

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

Where I live, she would have lost her sweet job, period. There are plenty of nurses here looking for work.


1,224 Posts

Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience.

Either way whether it's intentional or unintentional, it's self destruction.

I've said it before, my husband knows how to keep my license current even if I'm in a freakin coma! :roflmao:

Sour Lemon

5,016 Posts

Has 13 years experience.

I'm a horrible procrastinator when it comes to renewing things on time. I can't say that I've let my nursing license expire, but I used to get yearly tickets for my automobile registration and inspection. The only reason that stopped is because my husband takes care of it for me now. My car insurance is an automatic withdrawal, thank goodness- or I would probably let that expire, too.

I must admit that I do fantasize about "vacation" every time my license or CPR is soon to expire, but I'm bad at being deliberately shady, so I take care of it ...only 1-3 days in advance of the expiration, though. Thank goodness the BON is faster than I am with renewals.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

4,475 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

It's just dumb. I don't get why any nurse allows this to happen.

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VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,981 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I haven't worked as a nurse in two and a half years and probably never will again, but I've still got enough practice hours in the past 5 years to renew my RN license, and I plan to do so. The fee is a little hard to swallow on my low SSDI income, but it's worth doing because I never know if that "right" job---one I can actually handle---will drop into my lap. :)

OrganizedChaos, LVN

1 Article; 6,883 Posts

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

I let mine lapse & I kinda feel bad about it but at the same time, I don't. I wasn't working at the time & also in a depression. Looking back I wish I would have renewed it, but now that I don't have it I'm thinking about other career opportunities for me that would suit me better than nursing.

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Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

IMO, if you're working or actively seeking employment, renewing the license is a priority no matter what. At least for me...especially since my employer will put you on administrative leave the day after it expires.