If you plan to temporarily or permanently discontinue the practice of nursing in North Carolina, a request may be made for Inactive Status or Retired Nurse Status.
Request Inactive Status or Retired Status
Access the Nurse Gateway
Log in to your profile. Please keep your Username and Password in a secure location as you will need this information to access your Nurse Gateway profile.
For security reasons, please logout and exit your web browser when you are finished accessing services that require authentication. The North Carolina Board of Nursing cannot be held responsible for unauthorized access to the information you have entered in the browser if you do not exit this application.
Complete Online Application
Apply for Inactive Status or Retired Status with the North Carolina Board of Nursing.
Inactive Status: THERE IS NO FEE FOR THIS PROCESS
Retired Nurse Status: $30.00
FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE
To request inactive status or retired status, access your Nurse Gateway profile and select the 'EXPIRING SOON!' tile which indicates your license under the 'Licenses/Approval to Practice/Certifications' tab. Select 'Request Inactive Status' or 'Request Retired Status' on the following page.
Valid Forms of Payment
Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa only
Electronic Check (E-Check)*
*Per N.C.G.S. 25-3-506, a $25.00 processing fee will be charged for a Electronic Check (E-Check) refused by the bank due to insufficient funds or closed account.
Inactive Status and Retired Status Requirements
Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse
You currently hold an active license in North Carolina
Your current license is within 90 days of the expiration date
Your license must be unencumbered
If you plan to discontinue the practice of nursing in North Carolina, either permanently or temporarily, a request may be made to become inactive. Inactive Status is requested when your license is up for renewal. The request for Inactive Status MUST be made before the expiration of your current license. Once a license expires, it cannot be placed on the Inactive Status. Postcard notifications are mailed approximately 90 days prior to expiration of your license.
A nurse with an Inactive Status license is not permitted by law to practice nursing.
A nurse who has retired has the option of placing his or her license on Retired Status when the license is up for renewal. The request for Retired Status MUST be made before the expiration of your current license. If a license is inactive or expires, it cannot be placed on Retired Status. Postcard notifications are mailed approximately 90 days prior to expiration of your license.
Retired Status allows you to use the designation of either Registered Nurse - Retired or Licensed Practical Nurse – Retired. With the Retired Status, you will receive a frameable Certificate with this designation as well as a two-year subscription to the Bulletin. This Certificate will be mailed to you after the expiration date of your current license.
The Retired Status does not permit the practice of nursing in North Carolina.
Upon successful completion of the online application, you may check your application status via Nurse Gateway. Licensure information can be verified on the Board's website. The Board of Nursing’s electronic database serves the primary source of licensure information for nurses in North Carolina.
The Application Confirmation which serves as your official receipt will be available on your Nurse Gateway profile upon successful completion of the application process. To access, select the appropriate tile under the 'Licenses/Approval to Practice/Certifications' tab on the Home screen, then select the 'Files' tab on the License Information screen.
If your email address is listed with the North Carolina Board of Nursing, you will receive a confirmation via email verifying receipt of your online application.
Prior to reinstatement, a Criminal Background Check is required for all applicants who have not held a North Carolina license for six (6) months or more. The Criminal Background Check packet is mailed to the nurse upon receipt of the reinstatement application. The fingerprinting must be performed by a Law Enforcement Official. The fee for the background check is submitted to the Board along with the completed fingerprint card.
If your license is inactive for five (5) years or longer, you will be required to take a Board-Approved Refresher Course or provide evidence of active licensure in another state or jurisdiction within the five (5) years prior to reinstatement. Upon completion of the reinstatement application, you will be instructed to submit evidence of licensure in another state or jurisdiction or evidence of successful completion of a Board-Approved Refresher Course.
If your North Carolina license has been on Inactive Status or Retired Status for over five years and you have not been licensed in another state during the last five years, successful completion of a Board-approved refresher course is required prior to reinstating your license. The refresher course will satisfy the Continuing Competence requirement. When all required information and applications are received from you, a current license to resume the practice of nursing will be issued. Your license must be reactivated within one year of completing the refresher course in order to be considered for current license status. The Board may decline to reactivate a license if a determination of unsatisfactory ability to practice nursing is evident.
Once the Board of Nursing receives all materials for reactivation of a license, a minimum of six weeks processing time may be required.