In Ohio, Do I Have to Take a Refresher to Get an Inactive RN License to Active Status?


Chapter 4723 of the Ohio Revised Code establishes the laws that govern the field of nursing. Commonly called the Nurse Practice Act, the law requires registered nurses who have an inactive license to participate in the reactivation process with the Ohio Board of Nursing. A refresher course is not necessary, but inactive RNs must complete education prior to returning to nursing.


Inactivity is a voluntary status for RN licenses in Ohio. RNs may opt to make their licenses inactive any time they know they will not be working in the field for a given period of time and do not wish to be responsible for renewing their licenses and completing continuing education courses during each licensing cycle. Ohio RNs must request the inactive status in writing. Once the license is inactive, RNs may request its reactivation at any time.


To qualify for a reactivation of an RN license in Ohio, nurses must complete a minimum number of hours of continuing education coursework. The content and hourly requirements for the education varies based on how long the license remained inactive. RNs whose licenses were inactive for less than five years need to take one hour of training in the laws governing nursing in Ohio, and 23 hours on any subject relative to nursing. Nurses who had inactive licenses for more than five years must take two hours of training in Ohio laws, six hours of training in critical thinking in the nursing process, six hours of training in pharmacology, two hours related to ethics in health care, and eight hours in any additional nursing topics of their choice.

Other Requirements

The continuing education courses on Ohio's rules and laws must come from a course specifically approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing. A list of the courses is available on the board's website. All other courses may come from colleges, seminars, workshops and self-study courses that grant continuing education hours. RNs with inactive licenses must undergo a criminal background check prior to the reinstatement of their licenses. Any RN found to have received a conviction for a crime during their inactivity may be ineligible for licensing.


All RNs seeking to restore an inactive license must complete an information packet. Unlike other forms, the packet is not available from the Ohio Board of Nursing's website. To request the packet, nurses must download a preliminary form and mail it to the Ohio Board of Nursing. The board then forwards the packet, which nurses complete and return. Candidates must also pay a reactivation fee, the amount of which was $65 as of May 2011. The board reviews the packets and will make eligible RNs' licenses active within 10 days of receipt.

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