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Reentering the Nursing Workforce

Thursday, March 26, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Lang
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Updated March 30, 2020

Are you a retired RN? Is your license currently inactive? Are you wanting to jump in and help during the COVID-19 pandemic?

On March 21, 2020, Governor Abbott waived several regulations to help meet Texas’ growing need for nurses in response to the COVID-19 virus. The Governor’s actions will expand Texas’ nursing workforce by waiving certain requirements for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and registered nurses (RNs) with inactive licenses to reactivate their licenses. More information is available on the Board of Nursing website.

Below are the steps you will need to take in order to reactive your nursing license during this time

  1. Go to and scroll to the very bottom of the web page to the Reactivation Renewal section of the page.
  2. Click on the appropriate Reactivation application according to the type of license you are trying to reactivate.
  3. Complete the application in its entirety (your information can be typed into the PDF document) and print.
  4. Write the word “WAIVER” across the top of your completed application
  5. Include the appropriate renewal fee ($68 for RNs; $45 for LVNs) writing “WAIVER” across the top of the application.
  6. The reactivation fees and late fees are waived, as are the CNE requirements, the jurisprudence exam requirement, and the refresher course requirement (for those who have not practiced in the past 4 years).
  7. Mail the completed application form with payment to:

Texas Board of Nursing |
ATTN: COVID Reactivation
333 Guadalupe, Ste. 3-460
Austin, TX 78701-3944

The Governor's office has provided addition clarification for APRNs, included below. 

In addition, LVNs, RNs, and APRNs whose license expires between March 23, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020, will have a grace period until Sept. 30, 2020, to renew their license without any late fees incurred or the need to submit evidence of continuing education to meet requirements for renewal. The nurses may continue practicing until Sept. 30, 2020. This waiver also applies to renewals of prescriptive authority. 

Statement by Governor Abbott on reactivation requirements:

Governor Greg Abbott has waived several regulations to help meet Texas’ growing need for nurses as the state responds to the COVID-19 virus. The Governor’s actions will expand Texas’ active nursing workforce by doing the following:

  • Allowing temporary permit extensions to practice for graduate nurses and graduate vocational nurses who have yet to take the licensing exam.
  • Allowing students in their final year of nursing school to meet their clinical objectives by exceeding the 50% limit on simulated experiences.
  • Allowing nurses with inactive licenses or retired nurses to reactivate their licenses.

"In the coming weeks and months, Texas will continue to see a growing need for medical professionals to help us respond to these unique and challenging times," said Governor Abbott. "With these actions, Texas is taking an important step to meet that need. Nurses are essential to our ability to test for this virus, provide care for COVID-19 patients, and to continue providing other essential health care services. Suspending these regulations will allow us to bring additional skilled nurses into the workforce to assist with our efforts and enhance our COVID-19 response."

Statement by Governor Abbott on renewal regulations:

Governor Greg Abbott has waived certain regulations from the Texas Board of Nursing regarding licensing renewal and subsequent fees for nurses in Texas. The Governor's waiver authorizes a six-month grace period for nurses with expired licenses. This grace period will allow nurses who are otherwise in good standing to continue practicing and will give them additional time to renew their license without added fees and penalties.

"Nurses are essential to protecting the public health and safety of our communities as we combat the COVID-19 virus,” said Governor Abbott. "With these temporary waivers, nurses in Texas can continue caring for patients without worrying about potential delays or barriers imposed by the licensing renewal process. We are grateful for the nurses serving throughout our state, and Texas are committed to ensuring they have the resources and support they need to do their jobs as we face this public health emergency."

Statement by Governor Abbot on APRN renewal

Governor Greg Abbott has waived certain regulations allowing for an expedited licensing reactivation process for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in Texas. Under these waivers, an APRN with a license that has been inactive for more than two years, but less than four years, will not have to pay a reactivation fee, complete continuing education credits, or complete the current practice requirements. For APRNs with a license that has been inactive for more than four years, the reactivation fee and continuing education requirements will be waived.

"Our frontline healthcare workers play a crucial role in Texas' response to COVID-19, and we are working to reduce barriers for former nurses who are ready and willing to serve in our communities," said Governor Abbott. "By expediting the process for APRNs to reactivate their license, Texas is allowing more healthcare professionals to reenter the workforce and assist in our effort to combat COVID-19."

*Licenses that have current discipline or are revoked, surrendered, or in inactive status under the terms of prior disciplinary order are excluded from the Governor approved waiver process.




Texas Nurses Association

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800.862.2022 | 512.452.0645 |