RN/LPN Reinstatement

If your license is not current, the right to practice nursing in North Carolina is forfeited unless you hold a multi-state nursing license from another Compact State. If a nurse practices nursing with a lapsed license, disciplinary action may be taken.

An active North Carolina license is not issued when another Compact State is claimed as the primary state of residence.

Official proof of residence which displays primary state of residence includes: Current Driver's License, Voter Registration, Federal Income Tax Return, W2 from U.S. Government or any Bureau, Division or Agency thereof indicating declared state of residence, or Military Form No. 2058

Submission of your online application should not be construed as automatic reinstatement of your license. The North Carolina Board of Nursing must verify that you have met all the conditions for reinstatement before your license is reinstated.

For reinstatement of a license, licensure may be for less than two (2) years in order to place the expiration on your birth month.

Licensees are only to submit evidence of continuing competence if specifically notified by the Board.

Submission and Fee Information

How to submit...

  1. Access the Nurse Portal to complete the Reinstatement application
  2. Select your license
    1. Your license includes your license type (RN Permanent License or LPN Permanent License), license number, expiration date, and license status.
  3. Select 'Renewal/Reinstatement' under license options
  4. Complete application
  5. A background check will be required, follow the instructions on the confirmation page for processing.

Fee Information: $100.00 (Inactive Status); $180.00 (Expired Status)


Valid Forms of Payment

  • Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa only
Reinstatement Requirements

Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse

  • You previously held an active license in North Carolina
  • You held an active nursing license within the last five (5) years OR have completed an RN or LPN Refresher Course (respectively) within the last year, which has been approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. 
    • If your North Carolina nursing license has lapsed 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 past five years
  • You must not declare another Compact State as a primary residence
  • You must have met the Continuing Competence requirements: Continuing Competence - 21 NCAC 36.0232

If you are requesting reinstatement following disciplinary action by the North Carolina Board of Nursing, please reach out to

Criminal Background Check

In accordance with the Nursing Practice Act, all candidates applying for Reinstatement of a North Carolina nursing license are required to undergo a fingerprint-based State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history check.

The Board of Nursing may deny an applicant on the basis of a conviction of a crime only if the board finds that the applicant's criminal conviction history is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation, or the conviction is for a crime that is violent or sexual in nature. The Board of Nursing must specifically consider the following factors by law when denying an applicant for licensure due to a criminal conviction:

  1. The level and seriousness of the crime.
  2. The date of the crime.
  3. The age of the person at the time of the crime.
  4. The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known.
  5. The nexus between the criminal conduct and the prospective duties of the applicant as a licensee.
  6. The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the applicant since the date the crime was committed.
    1. The completion of, or active participation in, rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment.
    2. A Certificate of Relief granted pursuant to G.S. 15A-173.2.
  7. The subsequent commission of a crime by the applicant.
  8. Any affidavits or other written documents, including character references.

Applicant’s denied licensure in whole or in part because of a criminal conviction have the right to appeal the decision of the Board within 30 days after receipt of the Board’s decision to the superior court located in the county where the applicant resides or where the Board is located pursuant to NC. Gen. Stat §90-171.37B(a) and §150B-43 et al.

In order to complete the criminal history check, please follow these instructions:

  • A Criminal Background Check is required for all reinstatement applications. If your North Carolina nursing license has lapsed less than 30 days and you wish to retain your multi-state status, a Criminal Background Check is required within 30 days. If your Criminal Background Check is not completed within 30 days, your North Carolina multi-state license will convert to a single state license. Licenses expired greater than 30 days, but less than 6 months, will be reinstated as a single state license and the licensee will be required to complete Criminal Background Check process in order to re-obtain multi-state privileges.
  • Live Scan is only available to applicants living in North Carolina.  If you reside in another state or country, a fingerprint card must be mailed in. Please check your confirmation page for current instructions for this process.
  • If you have been charged or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or have any charges pending (which have NOT been previously reported to the NC Board of Nursing through an application process); or if you have any charges or actions against any professional license (which have NOT been previously reported to the NC Board of Nursing through an application process), submission of additional documents will be required before your license reinstatement can be processed.

If a Criminal Background Check or additional documents are required, your online reinstatement application will be processed once all documents are received and reviewed.

The Application Confirmation which serves as your official receipt will be available on the Nurse Portal upon successful completion of the application process. To access, select the appropriate license and locate the confirmation page under the files heading.

If a valid email address is listed with the North Carolina Board of Nursing, you will receive confirmation via email verifying receipt of your online application.

Upon successful completion of the online application, you may check your application status via the Nurse Portal. Licensure information can be verified on the Board's website. The Board of Nursing’s electronic database serves as the primary source of licensure information for nurses in North Carolina.

Last Changed: 13-March-2024