Frequently Asked Licensing Questions

I have received my nursing certificate by e-mail. Is this my license?

The certificate is your license. You will note the certificate includes both your issue date and expiration date. You will receive a new certificate each time you renew your license or change your name.

How do I obtain a copy of my nursing license?

You will go to the licensing tab on our website and log in the same way you do for an online renewal. You can select the option to request a copy of your license. You will need to have an e-mail address on file with this office or provide an e-mail address in order to receive the certificate.

How do I change my name?

You will submit a copy of a legal document reflecting the name change. Please include your current name, telephone number, and license number. The Board office will accept the following legal documents as proof of a name change:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decree
  • Probate Court Document

When do I renew my nursing license(s)?

When you are issued your first nursing license (depending on your birthdate) your license will be active for at least one year and no more than two years. After you renew your license for the first time, you will renew your license every two years on or before your birthday.

Is there a grace period should I not renew my license on or before my birthdate?

No. You must renew your license on or before your birthdate when it is due to expire. The Board does not offer a grace period. Failure to renew your license on or before your birthdate on the year it is due results in a lapsed license. You cannot continue to practice until you have resolved your lapsed license status with the Board office.

Is online license renewal mandatory?

Online renewal is not mandatory at this time. Over 90% of nurses with Maine licenses are successfully renewing online.

I prefer not to use my credit card online for security concerns, what are my options?

Renewing online with a credit card is very secure. There are systems in place to protect your personal information. Your credit card information is not stored once the online renewal process is complete. The options, should you choose not to renew on-line, are the following:

  • Go to www.maine.gov/boardofnursing click on the licensing tab and select a paper renewal application, download, complete, and submit to the Board office with the appropriate fee. You can mail, scan and e-mail, or FAX, the application.
  • Request a paper application be sent to you (fee is $10.00).

How do I renew online or download paper applications, if I don't have a computer?

Every town library in Maine has a computer with internet access available for the public to use. The library may charge a fee for downloading documents. You may also ask your employer if you can use a business computer to complete the renewal process or download a paper application. Some organizations have strict policies regarding the use of business computers for personal use.

Can I change my address online?

You can change your address online at www.maine.gov/boardofnursing click on the licensing tab and the renew license online prompt. You will be prompted to complete a Declaration of Primary Residence Form.

Can I renew online if I have had a conviction in the last two years or have received discipline from a Board of Nursing?

You can complete the application process for renewal online, print the renewal document, and submit it to the office with your explanation and documents relevant to the issue.

How do I renew online if I don't have a credit card?

You must use a credit card to renew online. You may use your family member or employer credit card if you have authorization to do so. Otherwise you will need to download a paper application, complete it and submit it to the Board office.

How do I know if my licensing application is incomplete?

You may go to our website at www.maine.gov/boardofnursing, click the licensing tab and verify a license online. Enter your name and submit. Your license number will display next to your name. Double click your name and you can review the checklist that indicates the documents that are outstanding.

If I have a criminal conviction can I become a nurse?

According to the law (5 M.R.S.A. Sections 5301, 5302), the appropriate state licensing agency may take into consideration criminal history record from Maine or elsewhere...but the existence of information shall not operate as an automatic bar to being licensed...

This means that you are not automatically disqualified from becoming a nurse because of the criminal conviction, but the Board may consider whether or not you have been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust.  The applicant shall bear the burden of proof.

The decision to enter a nursing program is yours.  The basic answer to the question as to whether a particular conviction precludes nursing licensure is that there is no crime listed in the law that automatically precludes licensure in nursing.  However, the Board of Nursing may certainly consider the conviction when making the determination to license an individual or not.

However, the Board of Nursing will not make the determination before a person has even entered a nursing program.