Unlike many other professions, the nursing career path’s educational requirements don’t end after graduation. In fact, depending on the state they’re in, nurses have to renew their licenses every 2-4 years.
Advanced Nursing + Home Support strives to help those who are interested in a nursing career path. As a nursing employer, we believe in giving current and potential nurses the resources they need to succeed. We’re here to help and support you whether you’re renewing your license for the first time or wondering, “How do I start my nursing career?”
How to Renew a Nursing License
If this is your first time renewing your license, it’s understandable to have some questions about the process. Use this step-by-step breakdown on how to renew a nursing license as a checklist to ensure you’ve covered all your bases.
1. Check the Status of Your License
The first step in renewing your license is checking its status. Visit your nursing board’s website or state portal to confirm that your license is still active and that you have plenty of time to begin the renewal process.
In the event that you miss your expiration date (the 28th day of your birth month), there is a 30-day grace period in which you can still submit your application.
2. Start the Process Early
Renewing your nursing license requires a great deal of paperwork, and there are numerous requirements to be met. You need to allow yourself time to obtain the necessary documents.
Certain states will even allow you to submit your application pretty far in advance. If you are able to, this is optimal as it gives the board time plenty of time to review your information. That way, you won’t have to scramble to send any additional information and/or meet any additional requirements.
3. Fulfill Your Continuing Education Units
Fulfilling any necessary Continuing Education Units (CEUs) is an essential part of the renewal process. For many applicants, the CEU requirement can be met by obtaining a minimum number of contact hours with your patients over a specific time period.
However, some applicants may need to take refresher courses. This is necessary when contact hours are low. In rare instances, you may need to completely retake a course. This only applies when an applicant’s license has been suspended or has lapsed for a long period.
4. Complete the Necessary Paperwork
The renewal process will come with a lot of paperwork, but most applicants find this paperwork easy to complete. Much of the required information is simple and consists of things you know offhand, such as your legal name and Social Security number.
You will also need to compile all paperwork and documentation that shows you have met the necessary CEU requirements.
5. Pay Your Renewal Fee
When you renew your nursing license, you will have to pay a renewal fee. These fees can vary depending on whether you have any infractions.
How Do I Renew a Nursing License in Maryland?
In Maryland, your nursing license must be renewed every two years and the renewal fee is $136. You may submit your application within 90 days of the expiration date and, as previously mentioned, you have a 30-day grace period.
Additionally, there are some requirements to meet and documentation to provide before you can renew your nursing license. First, you must pass a criminal history records check.
You must also show proof of completion for one of the following:
- 1,000 hours of active nursing practice within the last 5 years
- Requirements for a degree from a board-certified nursing program within the last 5 years
- 30 CEUs relevant to your nursing career path within the last 2 years
- Note: You must have received a grade of “C” or higher in each course.
If you’re unsure whether your current documentation is necessary or correct, check with the Maryland Board of Nursing upon submitting your application.
How to Start (and Plan) a Nursing Career Path
If you want to become a nurse and are already brainstorming ways to develop your future career path, kudos to you! You’re clearly a go-getter already, but here are three tips we recommend that will make the first few years of your journey impactful.
1. Find a Mentor
A nursing mentor will help you navigate certain obstacles and become more acquainted with what you can expect throughout your career. A mentor can be any nurse that’s currently in (or has been) in your desired nursing career path.
2. Research Nursing Certificate Programs
Furthering your education is an essential tool when it comes to advancing in your nursing career, especially if you have a specific field in mind. Taking continued courses in nursing certificate programs will help advance your expertise and make you a more valuable asset.
If you don’t have a specialty in mind, researching the various nursing certificate programs out there and their course work can help you find one.
3. Work in a Supportive Environment
Being surrounded by support and encouragement is vital for developing your nursing career. Make sure to choose a workplace that cares about your development and wants to see you succeed. Finding a place of employment whose mission and values you believe in is a great place for you to plant roots to grow personally and professionally.
Nursing Career Paths at Advanced Nursing + Home Support
Looking to get into the in-home nursing career path? Advanced Nursing is always looking for experienced, compassionate new team members. We’re dedicated to creating an environment in which our staff can further develop their skills and their career — and to cheering them on every step of the way.
Contact us today to learn more about our available opportunities!