IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LICENSING
Practice with an expired license is illegal and grounds for Board discipline. A civil administrative penalty for unlicensed practice of up to $2,500 and/or six months of imprisonment may be imposed [ref: M.G.L. c.112, § 65A]. MA licensed nurses are responsible for complying with MGL c. 112, §§ 74 through 81C, Board regulations and any other laws and regulations related to licensure and nursing practice including state tax and child support laws, mandatory reporting laws and continuing education requirements.
Your written or digital signature at the time of license renewal attests under the penalties of perjury that you have complied with applicable laws and regulations.
Online license renewal is the fastest and most convenient way to renew. Nurses can quickly and easily renew their nursing license 24/7 through a secure internet connection using VISA or MasterCard, or an electronic check. Once the online renewal process is complete, the nurse’s renewed license status will immediately appear on the Board’s license verification site.
You or your employer can verify and print licensure status by accessing the Board “Check a License” The link is considered Primary Source Verification and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RN license numbers have "RN" as a prefix and LPN license numbers have "LN" as a prefix. License numbers are not available by telephone.
Nurses will also complete the biennial Nursing Workforce Survey with their online renewal process. A collaborative effort of the MA nursing community, the survey is designed to create an accurate picture of the Commonwealth’s nursing workforce which is vital to the implementation of relevant, evidence based health care policy.
Visit The Board’s website at www.mass.gov/dph/boards/rn for statutes and regulations, advisory rulings, guidelines, forms, newsletters and the latest information about nursing schools, RN, LPN and APRN practice, license verification, complaint resolution, answers to frequently asked questions and much more.
RN’s renew in even years and LPN’s renew in odd years. Individuals who hold both an RN and LPN license can keep both licenses current. To do so, you must renew and pay a renewal fee for each license. MA nursing licenses have two designations: “Current” or “Expired”. If you do not renew your license by the expiration date at 11:59 pm (or 5:00 pm if renewing by paper), your license becomes “Expired” automatically. A nursing license cannot be placed on “Inactive” status.
CHANGES IN NAME, POSTAL ADDRESS, EMAIL: You are required to notify the Board within 30 days of any change to your addresses of record [ref: 244 CMR 9.03(27)]. The postal address associated with your license is a public record. Postal and email address changes can be made online. You must update your addresses for each nursing license or APRN authorization. Changing the address on one does not automatically carry over to another. Name change requests must be in writing. Visit our website for paper name and address change request forms. Requests will be processed within one business day of receipt.
CHANGES IN U.S. SSN: The Division of Health Professions Licensure is required by law (M.G.L. c.30A, § 113A and c.119A, §16) to collect the SSN of every licensee. The MA licensed nurse is required to have a valid and accurate SSN of record in order to renew a license. If you are submitting a SSN for the first time, correcting an inaccurate SSN or have been assigned a new SSN, complete and submit an Affidavit to Verify Social Security Number form found on our website under “Licensing”. Affidavits will be processed within one business day of receipt.
DUTY TO REPORT: A nurse who directly observes another nurse engage in any of the following must report that nurse to the Board in accordance with Board guidelines: 1) patient abuse; 2) nursing practice impaired by substance abuse; and/or 3) controlled substance diversion [ref: 244 CMR 9.03(26)].
CONTINUING EDUCATION (CE): To demonstrate continued competence to practice nursing, 15 contact hours of nursing CE are required every 2 years for LPN and RN license renewal. All CE programs or college courses must meet the 244 CMR 5.00 criteria. At the Board’s website, under “Continuing Education” the Board provides a checklist for nurses and one for providers to assist in determining whether or not a program satisfies the Board’s CE requirements. You must maintain your CE record(s) for 2 renewal periods. If this is your first license renewal, you are not required to provide evidence of CE.
Continuing Education Requirement: Training on domestic and sexual violence required for LPN, RN and APRN license renewal. Visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/community-health/dvip/violence/domestic-and-sexual-violence-integration.html for compliance information.
ADVANCED PRACTICE REGISTERED NURSES (APRN): To practice as a Nurse Practitioner (CNP), Nurse Midwife (CNM), Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS) or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), you must hold a current, valid RN license and written Board authorization in accordance with Board regulations.
To maintain and renew APRN authorization, you must hold current MA RN licensure and current certification from a Board recognized national professional organization and meet all certification requirements mandated by that organization [ref: 244 CMR 9.04(4) and 244 CMR 4.05]. Should APRN certification lapse for any reason, the APRN must inform the Board by completing a Request to remove APRN authorization and cease APRN practice until such time that certification becomes current. The Board does not have a “grace period”.
RN license and APRN authorization renewals occur on the RN’s birthday in even-numbered years. Because they are connected, APRNs pay to renew their Board authorization to practice as an APRN at the same time they renew their RN license. If, for any reason, an APRN does not intend to renew their APRN authorization, he or she must complete a Request to remove APRN authorization, allowing time for the Board to process (14 days). Complete process prior to renewal to avoid paying for APRN authorization. Once payment is made, it is non-refundable. Expired APRN does NOT affect your RN status.
A Massachusetts controlled substances registration (MCSR) and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration are required to issue orders or prescribe. For additional information, visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/dhpl/nursing/nursing-practice/aprn/practice-and-prescriptive-guidelinesauthority.html
Your written or digital signature at the time of APRN renewal attests under the penalties of perjury that you have complied with applicable laws and regulations. Included in those requirements:
MassHealth Enrollment. Section 6401(b) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes requirements related to Ordering, Referring, and Prescribing (ORP) providers. If MassHealth requires a service to be ordered, referred, or prescribed, then ACA Section 6401(b) requires that the billing provider include the ORP provider’s individual National Provider Identifier (NPI) on the claim and the ORP provider be enrolled with MassHealth as a fully participating provider or as a nonbilling provider. Consequently, enrollment in MassHealth is required as a practice condition for all APRNs. For details visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/provider/insurance/masshealth/aca/aca-section-6401enrollment-information.html
Mandatory Continuing Education for Prescribers: Per MGL 94C, Section 18(e), all prescribers, upon initial application and subsequently during each license renewal cycle, must complete education relative to:
Nurse prescribers may choose any program that meets the required content and is consistent with the Board’s continuing education requirements, such as the free course work at https://www.scopeofpain.com/online-training/ or . Neither the law nor the Board stipulates a specific number of continuing education hours required to fulfill this requirement.
Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Enrollment: Per MGL c. 94C, all MA prescribers must enroll and use The Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT). Process is not automatic. Visit www.mass.gov/dph/dcp/onlinepmp for details.