Every 2 years in Indiana, R.N.’s renew their licenses. Even though the license renewal is due on October 31st of the odd-numbered years, nurses can to begin to renew as early as July of that year. However, many nurses seem to wait until the last minute to undertake the task.
If a nurse renews their license and answers “yes” to any of 6 questions (which I am paraphrasing here):
- Have you had any charges filed in any State against your license;
- Have you been denied a license;
- Other than minor traffic violations, have you been arrested, convicted or pled “no contest” to a criminal matter;
- Have you had a judgment or settlement on your behalf for a medical malpractice matter;
- Have you been terminated, reprimanded, disciplined, or demoted in your capacity as a Registered Nurse; and
- Are you on the OIG exclusion list?
If a nurse answers “yes” to any of these questions, they will be called in for a personal appearance before the Indiana State Board of Nursing.
However, if the Board does not see the nurse in a personal appearance before October 31st, the license then is changed to “valid to practice pending review.” Interestingly, the expiration date is still the current year, yet a nurse can still practice.
Therefore, if your license status is changed to “valid to practice pending review,” you can still practice. However, that is confusing to many employers which leads to many nurses becoming concerned that they will be losing their jobs due to their license status.
The Board has 120 days from the date a nurse submits their license renewal to render a decision as to whether they are going to grant that nurse’s license. The Board can renew the license free and clear, place the license on probation or deny the license. Those are the only options.
Sometimes I wish there was an option for a reprimand but, sad to say, there is none.
Unfortunately, the classification of “valid to practice pending review,” as confusing as it may be, is simply a placeholder to allow the Board the 120 days to call in the nurse for a personal appearance before the Board and to make a decision.
I hope this alleviates some of the confusion regarding that part of the renewal process.