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Board of Nursing FAQs

Frequently asked questions received by the Board of Nursing.

Licensing

How do I renew my license?

Every licensee must renew her/his license every two years, before midnight of her/his birthday. Post cards reminding licensees of the need to renew are mailed about 6 weeks prior to the expiration date to the address that you have filed with the Board of Nursing. Failure to notify the Board of your address change may result in a delay in renewing your license.

We encourage you to renew your license online. If you don't have personal access to a computer, you may try the library in your town. If you are unable to renew your license online, return your renewal postcard to the Board of Nursing requesting a paper application to be sent to you. Remember that your license renewal may be delayed if you must wait for mail services. Renewing online is easy and quick. Instructions to access your code will be available on the renewal postcard We accept only MasterCard or Visa for online licensing. If your license application has been marked for Continuing Education audit, you can download the form and return to [email protected] or mail the required documentation.

Even if you have not received a postcard, you may begin the online process. Go to the online renewal section and follow the directions to obtain a registration code.

Failure to receive the renewal reminder post card does not relieve you of the responsibility of renewing your license by the expiration date.

Your license entitles you to work under a specific scope of practice. If you choose to work at a lower level of licensure, you must apply for and have an active license for that level. You must also meet the requirements for work hours and continuing education for that level of licensure.

Make sure you Notify the Board of any address change before your license expires.

How will I know that my license has been renewed?

The Board of Nursing is no longer issuing a paper copy of a license. You can print a verification of your license status 24/7 through the online verification system. The online verification provides the most up-to-date record of license status changes. You must verify that you have completed the process as instructed.

How do I notify the Board if I change my address or my name?

Change of address and name forms are on the website. You can mail the completed Change of Address form to:

New Hampshire Board of Nursing
7 Eagle Square
Concord, NH 03301

or you can fax the completed form to (603) 271-6605

or you can email your changes to [email protected].

Please be sure to include your name, license number, former address (and/or name) and new address (and/or name). If you fail to notify the Board of Nursing of your address change, you may not receive important notices..

What fees does the Board charge?

Refer to Board Fees.

What happens if I decide not to renew my license? Do I need to notify the board that I want to be listed as "inactive"?

If you do not renew your license, your license will automatically become inactive at midnight on your birthday in your renewal year. Your name will always be kept on file at the Board of Nursing, and you can reinstate your license at any time if you meet continuing competence requirements which include "active in practice" and continuing education requirements.

Remember! You may not work as a nurse or nursing assistant in New Hampshire or, for RNs and LPNs, in another compact state if your license has expired. If you work as a nurse or nursing assistant after your license is expired, you must pay a fine (see fee schedule). If you live in New Hampshire, you may not work as a nurse in another compact state if your license has expired. If you move your residence to another compact state, you must obtain a nursing license in the state to which you have moved within 30 days of moving. You must notify the Board of Nursing that you have moved. Your New Hampshire nursing license will automatically be inactivated 30 days following a change of residence to another nurse compact state.

What are the "active in practice" requirements for renewing my license?

The active in practice in practice requirements for all licensees are described under Continuing Competence.

What are the continuing education requirements for renewing my license?

The continuing education requirements for all licensees are described under Continuing Competence.

What is the difference between contact hours and continuing education units (CEUs)?

A contact hour is equal to 60 minutes of attendance at an education program, or 50 minutes of time devoted to completion of a self-learning program or computerized program. A CEU is 10 Contact Hours. The requirements for your license renewal are stated in terms of contact hours. Nurses must complete 30 contact hours every 2 years, and LNAs must complete12 contact hours every year.

The Board does not require that your contact hours be earned at conferences that provide "official" contact hours from a professional certifying organization. Any organized learning program that enhances your nursing or nursing assistant knowledge, judgment, or skills may qualify to meet the requirements for re-licensure. You may complete any or all of your contact hours through professional journal continuing education programs or via Internet learning programs. However, in order for self-learning activities to be valid for license renewal, you must complete the journal or Internet process by submitting the post test to the sponsor or complete other requirements in order to receive your certificate. Examples of activities that meet continuing education requirements for licensure are found under Continuing Competence.

If I receive a notice that my license renewal has been selected for "CE Audit" what do I have to do?

If the postcard you receive reminding you of the need to renew your license is stamped with "CE Audit" in red letters, you have been selected for an audit of your continuing education activities. You must submit a description of your continuing education along with your renewal application. You do not need to send copies of the certificates that you received when you attended programs. You must write down on the form provided a list of program titles, contact hours awarded, and the sponsoring agency for continuing education you completed in the past 2 years. Only activities that were completed within the 2 calendar years preceding your license renewal date can be considered. You will be able to print out the Continuing Education Audit Form when you begin the online process. You must send electronically or mail the completed form to the Board office. See information on Continuing Competence.

After, can I assume that my license is valid and that I can practice as a nurse or nursing assistant?

A license is issued by the Board of Nursing "in good faith" based on actual receipt of the licensing fee. If the funds in your checking account are insufficient to cover the cost of the license, the license will immediately become invalid. Your license will be posted as "inactive" on the online verification system if your check is returned to us by the New Hampshire Treasury for insufficient funds. You are responsible for checking the verification website to assure your license is valid. If you work as a nurse or nursing assistant in New Hampshire while your license is invalid, you are working without a license, and are subject to an administrative fine when your licensed is issued.

License Verification Information for Employers

How does an employer know if a nurse's and nursing assistant's license is valid?
  • As it is under single-state licensure models, it is the responsibility of the employer to verify licensure at all significant times of change in status of nurses they employ. To validate a New Hampshire license, please utilize the online verification tool on our website. To learn whether a New Hampshire nursing license is a multi-state or single-state license, you must connect to the national data base called NURSYS.
  • To validate the multi-state license of a non-resident nurse, please contact the jurisdiction in which the license is held, and follow the verification process for that jurisdiction. Website addresses for the other boards of nursing can be accessed by going to the National Council State Boards of Nursing website. Employers may also electronically access the national licensing data information system called NURSYS. Basic licensure information as well as disciplinary history for licensees is provided through NURSYS. There is a nominal fee for this service for employers. Payment must be made by credit card.
  • To validate the license of a licensed nursing assistant go to License Verification.
What about a licensee who has been disciplined by a Board of Nursing?

A RN/LPN licensee is only eligible for a multi-state license if the person's license is in "good-standing". If a nurse has been disciplined and is working under a settle agreement with stipulations, the nurse is only eligible for a single-state license.

How do you know if a license is in "good-standing"

Licensees and employers can verify discipline status by accessing the online verification system. Employers can verify licensure for individuals licensed in other compact and non-compact states at NURSYS

Nurse Licensure Compact

What is the mutual recognition model?

The mutual recognition model of nurse licensure allows a nurse to have one license (in the nurse's state of residency) and to practice in other states. Under mutual recognition, practice across state lines is allowed, whether physical or electronic, unless the nurse is under discipline or a monitoring agreement that restricts practice across state lines. In order to achieve mutual recognition, a state must enter into an interstate compact, called the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) also referred to in this article as the "Compact".

How is the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact implemented?

In order for a state to join the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, state legislators or regulators must enact the interstate compact into state law or regulation.

History regarding the initial Compact: Based on the passage of SB 170 which revised the Nurse Practice Act during the 2004-2005 legislative sessions, New Hampshire is now a member of the Compact and was implemented the Compact on January 1, 2006.

As of January 19, 2018, NH entered into the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Applicants that were licensed on or after that date were vetted based on the (eNLC) Uniform Licensure Requirements (ULR).

See link to rules: https://www.NCSBN.org/nlcrules.

What states are presently members of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

Legislation in 2016 introduced the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) which was passed as Statute July 20, 2017.

As of January 19, 2018, states in addition to New Hampshire that are members of the (eNLC) can be found at the link:   https://www.ncsbn.org/nurse-licensure-compact.htm.

How does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact work?

Your license to practice in the RN or LPN role is issued by the state in which you legally reside, and allows you to practice in any other state that is part of the Compact. If you move to a different "compact state", you must apply for a license from the board in your newly adopted state, and inactivate your license in your former "compact state". You may maintain a license to practice in any other non-compact state. You may not maintain a multi-state license in more than one compact state at a time.

What determines primary residency for licensure purposes in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

"Primary state of residence" is defined by the compact as "the state of a person's declared fixed permanent and principal home or domicile for legal purposes". Evidence of a primary state of residence may be required. Sources used as evidence include, but are not limited to, driver's license, federal income tax return, military payroll documents, and voter registration. If you declare a change in your permanent residence from another compact state, you have 90 days to obtain a license in that state.

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are a resident of New Hampshire?

If you are a resident of New Hampshire, and hold an active New Hampshire nursing license, your New Hampshire nursing license became a multi-state license, issued by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. Your multi-state license allows you to practice nursing in New Hampshire and in the other Compact states without applying for a license from the other Compact states, as long as you maintain your legal residence in New Hampshire.

Falsification of primary residence may result in disciplinary action by the Board.

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are not a resident of New Hampshire?
  • If your primary residence is not in New Hampshire but is in another Compact State, your New Hampshire Nursing License was inactivated on January 1, 2006. In order to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must hold a current/active multi-state nursing license in the Compact state in which you reside. This license will allow you to practice nursing in New Hampshire and the other Compact states. If you wish to practice in New Hampshire, you must obtain a current multi-state license.
  • For example: If you are a resident of Maine and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must, as of January 1, 2006, hold an active Maine multi-state license.
  • If your primary residence is not in New Hampshire and you reside in a non-Compact State, and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must maintain a current/active single state license through the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. This license will allow you to practice nursing in the state of New Hampshire.
  • For example: If you are a resident of Massachusetts, and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must, as of January 1, 2006, hold an active single state New Hampshire nursing license.
Does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact change requirements for licensure in New Hampshire?

No. In order to renew your New Hampshire license, whether you practice in New Hampshire or in another compact state, you must meet all the continuing education and "active in practice" requirements currently specified in the law. You must have earned a minimum of 30 continuing education contact hours in the past 2 years and have been "active in practice" for a minimum of 400 hours in the past 4 years. You must also submit a criminal background check to the Board of Nursing prior to your license renewal.

How does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact address the varying scopes of nursing practice in each state?

You must comply with the practice regulations of the state in which the care is provided. Any nurse who provides care to a patient in New Hampshire is accountable for complying with the practice laws and regulations that are described in the New Hampshire Nurse Practice Act. If you reside in New Hampshire but provide care in another compact state, you must comply with the practice regulations of the state in which you provide care. This accountability is similar to the motor vehicle driver (driver's license compact) who must obey the driving laws in the state where he or she is driving. In fact, all nurses are accountable for this; it is not unique to the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. Keep in mind that nursing practice is not limited to patient care, and includes all nursing practice as defined in each state's practice laws.

Are APRNs included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

No, APRNs are not included in the New Hampshire enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact legislation.

Are Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) or Medication Nursing Assistants (MNAs) included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

No, Licensed Nursing Assistants and Medication Nursing Assistants are not included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact.

Will New Hampshire continue to issue temporary licenses to new graduate nurses and to nurses applying for New Hampshire license by endorsement?

Yes, New Hampshire will continue to issue temporary licenses. However, as of January 1, 2006, all temporary licenses issued by New Hampshire are single-state licenses allowing the individual to practice only in New Hampshire a maximum of 120 days. When the licensing process is complete, and a permanent license is issued, the license will become a multi-state license if the individual meets are the requirements for a multi-state license.

Nurses with licensure from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont can apply for a temporary license while awaiting a permanent license. See Statute.

How will an employer know if a nurse's license is valid?

As it is under single-state licensure models, it is the responsibility of the employer to verify licensure at all significant times of change in status of nurses they employ. To validate a New Hampshire license, please utilize the License Verification tool on our website. To learn whether a New Hampshire nursing license is a multi-state or single-state license, you must connect to the national database.

What if I am a Civil Employee working in a Federal facility and not a member of the military or public health service corp?

To validate a non-resident multi-state license, please contact the jurisdiction in which the license is held, and follow the verification process for that jurisdiction. Website addresses for the other boards of nursing can be accessed by going to the National Council State Boards of Nursing website. Employers may also electronically access the national licensing data information system called NURSYS. Basic licensure information as well as disciplinary history for licensees is provided through National Council State Boards of Nursing website. Employers may also electronically access the national licensing data information system called NURSYS. There is a $5.00 fee for this service for employers. Payment must be made by credit card

What about a licensee who has been disciplined by a Board of Nursing?

A licensee is only eligible for a multi-state license if the person's license is in "good-standing" If a nurse has been disciplined and is working under a settle agreement with stipulations, the nurse is only eligible for a single-state license.

How do you know if a license is in "good-standing"?

Licensees and employers can verify discipline status by accessing the online verification system. Employers can verify licensure for individuals licensed in other compact and non-compact states at www.nursys.com.

What other circumstances would require a licensee to hold a single state license in NH?

In addition to active discipline on a license, licensee applicants who have not graduated from a nursing program seeking to take the NCLEX exam; licensee applicants who have entered into an alternative monitoring program; Canadian nurses who seek to license without having taken NCLEX and licensee applicants who do not declare their primary residence as NH.

What about licensees who are currently enrolled in the "Road to Recovery" program in New Hampshire?

Licensees enrolled in the Road to Recovery program in New Hampshire will most likely be granted a single state only license that allows practice only in New Hampshire. However, there may be circumstances in which another compact state will agree to allow the licensee to practice in a different compact state.

How does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact affect my APRN license?

If you are licensed in New Hampshire as an APRN:

  • And you live in New Hampshire: You must maintain your New Hampshire RN license and APRN license and comply with the same licensing requirements as you have always done. You may provide care in the RN scope of practice in other compact states, but you may only practice advanced practice nursing in New Hampshire (or in another state in which you maintain an APRN license).
  • And you live in a compact state other than New Hampshire (such as Maine): You must obtain a multi-state RN license in the compact state in which you reside, and comply with all the licensing requirements established by that state. In order to practice in New Hampshire in the APRN role, you must
    • maintain a multi-state RN license in the compact state in which you live;
    • maintain your New Hampshire APRN license; and,
    • comply with New Hampshire APRN licensing requirements, including certification, continuing education, and active in practice requirements.

You may practice in the RN role in any compact state, and you may practice advanced practice nursing in New Hampshire (or in another state in which you maintain an APRN license).

  • And you live in non-compact state (such as Vermont or Massachusetts): You must maintain your RN license and your APRN license in New Hampshire, and comply with the continuing education and active in practice requirements as you always have. You may practice in the RN role in New Hampshire (or in another non-compact state in which you maintain a RN license) and in the APRN role in New Hampshire (or in another compact or non-compact state in which you maintain an APRN license.)

Reference: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and Nscbn.org

Nursing Practice

How do I verify my New Hampshire license when I apply for a nursing license in another state?

If New Hampshire was the state in which you first became licensed and you would like to obtain a nursing license from another jurisdiction, contact the Board of Nursing in the state in which you seek licensure and request forms for applying for a license by endorsement. A directory of the board of nursing of all the states can be found at www.ncsbn.org.

As of January 1, 2006, New Hampshire has joined the national license verification center known as NURSYS. In order to provide license verification to another jurisdiction if you are applying for a nursing license, you must activate your license information by contacting NURSYS directly to complete the process online, or write directly to NURSYS, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc., 35531 Eagle Way, Chicago IL 60678-1353. The fee for activating your license information is $30.00, payable by credit card if you register online, and by certified check, cashier's check or money order if you register by mail. License information will be accessible by the Board of Nursing to which you are applying within 1 week of receipt of your application and fee by National Council. The verification report will remain active in the NURSYS database for 90 days, after which it expires, and will no longer be accessible. If you have questions, please contact the NURSYS License Verification Department at (312) 525-3780 or toll free at (866) 819-1700.

RNs and LPNs

How do I verify my New Hampshire license when I apply for a nursing license in another state?

If New Hampshire was the state in which you first became licensed and you would like to obtain a nursing license from another jurisdiction, contact the Board of Nursing in the state in which you seek licensure and request forms for applying for a license by endorsement. A directory of the board of nursing of all the states can be found at www.ncsbn.org.

As of January 1, 2006, New Hampshire has joined the national license verification center known as NURSYS. In order to provide license verification to another jurisdiction if you are applying for a nursing license, you must activate your license information by contacting NURSYS directly to complete the process online, or write directly to NURSYS, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc., 35531 Eagle Way, Chicago IL 60678-1353. The fee for activating your license information is $30.00, payable by credit card if you register online, and by certified check, cashier's check or money order if you register by mail. License information will be accessible by the Board of Nursing to which you are applying within 1 week of receipt of your application and fee by National Council. The verification report will remain active in the NURSYS data base for 90 days, after which it expires, and will no longer be accessible. If you have questions, please contact the NURSYS License Verification Department at (312) 525-3780 or toll free at (866) 819-1700.

If my license is inactive and I have not worked as a nurse for 400 hours in the past 4 years, what do I need to do in order to reinstate my license?

If you have not been "active in practice" for at least 400 hours in the past 4 years, you must complete a re-entry program approved by the Board of Nursing. You can read about re-entry programs by going to Re-enty Process for RNs and LPNs.