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Nurse Licensure Compact

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is an agreement that allows mutual recognition (reciprocity) of a nursing license between member U.S. states ("compact states"). Enacted into law by the participating states, the NLC allows a nurse who is a legal resident of and possesses a nursing license in a compact state (their "home state") to practice in any of the other compact states (the "remote states") without obtaining additional licensure in the remote states. It applies to both registered and practical nurses and is also referred to as a multi-state license.[1]

Per the NLC rules, nurses who are licensed in and legal residents of a compact state may not hold licenses from other compact states – that is, they can only hold one compact state license at a time, which must be from their home state, and a nurse temporarily practicing in a remote state retains their license in their home state. However, if a nurse changes their primary state of residence from one compact state to another compact state, they must transfer their license by applying for licensure by endorsement in the new home state; upon issuance of the new home state license, the license from the former home state is inactivated.

A license obtained in a compact state that is not one's state of legal residency is not recognized by the other compact members, so nurses who are legal residents of non-compact states must obtain licenses for each compact state in which they wish to practice.[2][3]

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♪ [transition music] ♪ When you think about getting a license, the fastest to obtain a driver's license is what most of us can relate to. Thank you. I now know and everyone can be assured that I'm qualified as safe driving my state of residence. I can also drive in other states, provided that I follow other states driving laws. Did you know that some nurses can do the same kind of thing with their nursing license. ♪ [transition music] ♪ The Nurse Licensure Compact provides a multistate license for eligible nurses allowing them to practice in any participating or compact state, which is like a driver's license. The public is protected through guidelines that built by participating states. This regulatory oversite enables patient access to Safe Nursing Care physically or electronically from within any compact state. Nursing licensure is broken down into two categories, single state and multistate. Compact states are those states that participate in the program. Nurses who reside and are licensed in one of these states are eligible to acquire a multistate license. Once they do, they can practice in any other compact state without completing any additional licensure applications or paying additional fees. Their home state license is accepted in all of the compact states. If the primary state of residence is not a compact state, they must apply for a single state license and pay any required fees. Good news, getting your multistate license is almost as easy as getting a driver's license if you're qualified of course. First, visit the NCSBN website and find out if your state is a member of NLC. If your state of residency is a compact state and you apply and are eligible for licensure, you will be issued a multistate license. The NLC is all about giving nurses more mobility in where they'd practice with less paperwork. - I live in Reno, Nevada, which is not a member of the compact. I'm moving to Boise, Idaho, which is a compact state. So, when should I apply for a multistate license? - Good question, you want to start the application process early, although you will not be issued a multistate license until you establish residency. The application process can take one to two months and you cannot practice in Idaho without the new license. - Right now, I live at Madison, Wisconsin, which is a compact state, I moved into Moen, Iowa, which is also a compact state, I have a multistate license. Is there anything I have to do before I move? - Actually, yes. Since you're moving and changing residency you will want to learn the process of applying for licensure by endorsement in Iowa and start the application process as early as you can. The Wisconsin Nursing License will only be valid for up to 30 days after you move, and sometimes, the application process can take longer. - I'm living in Dallas, Texas, which is a compact state, but I moved into Atlanta, Georgia, which isn't. What happens now. Since you're moving to Georgia, which is not a member of the compact, you will lose your multistate license status and privilege to practice another compact state. However, if you would take consensus license, it will be considered a single state license because you don't reside there. - I run a hospital in Augusta, Maine, a compact state. How do I know the job applicants from other compact states have multistate licensure privileges? - Good question. Once of nursing in compact states use Nursys, an online database that stores nurse licensure and disciplinary information. Employers in the general public have easy access to nurses, allowing for the verification of all types of licensure and will also specify if nurses have a current multistate license. Most boards of nursing also provides online access to licensure information on their websites. NCSBN has supplied many different NLC scenarios and fact sheets on its website. There applicants and licensed nurses are currently participating the program, the latest rules and updates and links to boards of nursing to apply for licensure. Just like I use my license to drive, nurses use their license to practice it's by knowing the rules of the road and nursing practice in all our states that we can be better assured of our safety of the safety of others. For the nurse, getting your license is a very rewarding experience. And with a multistate license, you have greater mobility to put your skills to work and transition smoothly from one location to another. Together, we can assure the safe practice of all nurses across state line. Visit today. ♪ [transition music] ♪

Participating states

Map of Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Member  Pending legislation  Partial implementation
Map of Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) members
  Pending legislation
  Partial implementation

As of April 2021, the 34 NLC states are:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey (partial implementation)
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Guam (partial implementation)

Thirteen other states and one US territory all have active NLC bills. They are: Alaska, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the US Virgin Islands.


  1. ^ "Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)". National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  2. ^ "NLC FAQs". National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Moving Scenarios Factsheet" (PDF). National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Retrieved 22 September 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 April 2021, at 15:50
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