California Nursing License Renewal: 3 Steps

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Written by Jeanne Kal Senior Manager, B2C Content, IntelyCare
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Reviewed by Ann Real, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
Asian male nurse completing California board of nursing license renewal on computer.

As the most populous state in the country, with nearly 39 million residents, California has a lot of people who need care. In fact, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are among the 10 job categories with the state’s highest employment levels.

If you’re an RN or LVN, you need to complete the California nursing license renewal process to remain legally permitted to practice. That probably leads you to wonder, How do I renew my California nursing license? We’re glad you asked. Check out our easy-to-follow steps, plus tips for CNAs who also need to complete renewal requirements.

California Nursing Facts

If you’re hoping to have a successful nursing career in the Golden State or earn an advanced healthcare degree, here are some resources that might come in handy.

Is California part of the nursing licensure compact (NLC)?

How much do nurses in California earn?

How can I contact the California Board of Nursing?

California Board of Registered Nursing Phone Number: 916-322-3350

California Board of Registered Nursing Mailing Address
Board of Registered Nursing
PO Box 944210
Sacramento, CA 94244-2100

Physical Address
Board of Registered Nursing
1747 N. Market Blvd., Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95834-1924 

California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians Phone Number: 916-263-7800

California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians Address
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive
Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833

California Board of Nursing License Renewal Process

If you practice nursing in California, follow the steps below. If you’re not practicing in California, use these links:

Step 1: Determine Your Renewal Deadline

To begin the California nursing license renewal process, you need to know when your current license expires. When you receive your initial license, it’s valid for two birthdays — not two years. It expires on the last day of the month following your birth date. Going forward, your license expires every two years. You can expect to receive a renewal notice in the mail approximately three months before your license expires.

If you’re a CNA in California, you must renew your certification every two years.

Step 2: Satisfy Continuing Education Requirements

Along with submitting a California nurse license renewal application, you must complete continuing education requirements.

  • RN requirements: Complete 30 approved contact hours. This is not required during the first two years after your initial licensure. However, you must complete the Implicit Bias If you’re an APRN, you’re not responsible for additional contact hours beyond the 30 you complete for your RN renewal.
  • LVN requirements: Complete 30 approved contact hours. Note that this is not required for your first renewal cycle.
  • CNA requirements: Complete 48 hours of in-service training/approved continuing education; work as a CNA under the supervision of a licensed health professional within your most recent renewal period.

Need to find a resource for continuing education? Have a look at courses at IntelyEdu, which is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Step 3: File Your California Nursing License Renewal Online

The Department of Consumer Affairs has a detailed guide to walk you through the California Board of Nursing license renewal process. (Note that the steps to renew an LVN license in California are similar.) Start by going to the BreEZe online services site. If you’re a new user, follow the registration steps. Otherwise, log in using your credentials — you should then see the Quick Start Menu on your screen.

In the License Activities section, it will say “It’s time to renew!” above your license number if its within 90 days of expiration. Click “Select” to proceed. Carefully read the next few pages and answer the questions when prompted. You will need to enter information from your CEU certificate, so be sure to have it handy.

Continue making your way through the pages. Eventually you will reach the Application Summary page. If the information is correct, you can click “Proceed to Payment.”

The California Board of Nursing license renewal fee structure is as follows:

Once payment has been received, you will see the Successful Payment screen. Print a receipt for your records. You can verify your license’s status via BreEZe. Once your license is renewed, you can start looking for RN jobs, LVN jobs, and CNA jobs in California.

Great Areas in California for Nursing Jobs

Consider looking for work in areas with big populations, such as:

Find Top California Nursing Jobs

After completing your California nursing license renewal, could you use some help looking for work? Check out all nursing jobs in California that are available on IntelyCare right now, and find the one that is the best fit for you.