Nurse Licensure Compact: Benefits for Travel Nurses

Nurse Licensure Compact: Benefits for Travel Nurses

By Melissa Mills, RN, BSN, CCM, MHA, Contributor

As a travel nurse, understanding the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and how it affects your license is important. 

In a nutshell: the NLC started in 1997 and has been successfully running, holding the highest and strictest requirements for the licensing process. 

As an enhancement of the NLC, as of July 20, 2017, 26 states adopted legislation to enact the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) which offers 11 uniform licensure requirements and allows nurses to provide care to patients in other enhanced nurse licensure compact states without having to obtain additional licenses.

GET ANSWERS to the top NLC FAQs.

According to David Benton, Chief Executive at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, “the Nurse Licensure Compact makes life far easier for travel nurses who meet the universal licensing requirements as they now can work in all party states on a privilege to practice based on their single multi-state license. No longer a need to keep track of multiple licenses. Only one renewal - could not be simpler.”

Top Reasons to Stay Informed About the Nurse Licensure Compact

Ease of travel. If you are licensed and your permanent residence is in a compact state, you can provide care to patients in other compact states with ease. You will need to apply for a compact license, but after you have obtained this, you are ready to travel across borders. Not only does this license allow you to take travel nursing assignments faster, but it also removes the need to go through the multi-week licensing process for assignments out-of-state. 

Uniform license requirements. No longer does each state need to be worried about the different licensing requirements. The eNLC provides a list of 11 uniform requirements. This makes it easy for each state to know that the nurses practicing are within the level of professionalism they require. This also keeps patient safety at the forefront of the nursing compact states benefits. Better nurses = better care!

Access to care. By allowing registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses to obtain a multistate license with privileges to practice in their home state, the NLC provides a solution to staffing issues. Nurses can quickly cross state borders and provide vital services in the event of a disaster or census fluctuation. Providing the greatest benefit to the patients in most need of critical care. 

The nurse licensure compact continues to expand an evolve, a lot is expected to change in 2018 and through 2019. 

Map of NLC states in 2019

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