Whether looking to start out a career as a nurse or transferring to a new state, nursing professionals throughout the country often find themselves tangled up in bureaucratic red tape for months or more waiting for state officials to approve their license applications.
As discussed in a recent report by NPR, the slow down comes at a time when nurses are in high demand. Yet even with this need, 1 in 10 nurses waited over six months to get approval.
The true wait time may be even worse as many states are not accurately measuring wait time. Wait time in some areas begins after the application is marked as complete, but many applicants find themselves in a ping pong match of back and forth with the state board to answer requests to help process the application or waste weeks confirming with the board that they already have everything they need to approve the application.
What can a nurse do when in this situation? Although a lot of it is out of your hands, there are two tips that can help give you some control and speed up the process.
- Make sure the application is complete. Review the state board’s requirements before sending off the application, complete required forms and send required documents. Also take the time to make sure you follow all the steps in the instructions for submission.
- Follow up. As noted by ThriveAP, an education resource for those in the nursing profession, do not hesitate to reach out and check on the status of the application. As this piece notes, working with the state board is akin to working with a government entity. It could take them time to reach out and ask a question. By taking that first step you could save yourself weeks or even months of wait time.
It is also important to note that those who experience a hurdle in the license application process do not have to take no for an answer. If the nursing board points to allegations of unprofessional conduct or other issues that pose as obstacles to an approval, you can fight back.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication