Newsom signs Patterson bill creating retired nurse license

Asm. Jim Patterson authored a bill that allows retired nurses to provide volunteer work across California as the nursing shortage continues.

A bill from Asm. Jim Patterson (R–Fresno) to help retired nurses maintain their licenses has become law. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 633 after it received unanimous support from the Assembly. 


The backstory: Current California law allows retired nurses to reactivate their licenses and find work if they apply to renew their licenses every two years. 

  • The license renewal fee is $190, and nurses wishing to practice again must have 30 hours of continuing education completed within the last two years. 
  • Non-practicing nurses who have let their license lapse must pay a $280 delinquent renewal fee in order to work again. 

The big picture: With AB 633 now becoming law, the state is creating a retired license category for registered nurses that will be administered by the Board of Registered Nursing. 

  • Nurses who have a retired license will be allowed to provide limited nursing services to the public. 
  • The bill also exempts a retired licensee from continuing education requirements. 

Why it matters: AB 633 allows nurses to retire but maintain a retired license for volunteer work, extending the pool of available nurses in the event of shortages. 

What they’re saying: “As this state remains desperately short of qualified nurses, this action helps those who still have a calling to serve in the medical field across California to now do so without the burden of excessive state fees,” Patterson said in a statement. 

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