Nursing Compact States & Nurse Licensure
If you haven’t heard of the multi-state nursing license compact, it’s time to find out how this great program can streamline your eligibility for a variety of travel nursing opportunities—and how some recent changes might affect you.
Here’s how it works: if you are a nurse who lives in a state that is one of the nursing licensure compact states, you can get licensed to practice in all states that are members.
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), sponsored by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), opens you up to a number of new nursing jobs, and makes the process of getting hired much easier.
When you get your multi-state nursing license, your information is stored in a shared database that can be accessed by all of the nursing compact states, meaning your work history, specialty, and other pertinent information is readily available to potential employers. It’s quick and cuts out a lot of the paperwork associated with getting travel nursing jobs.
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Original Nursing Compact States
The following states are part of the multi-state Nurse Licensure Compact. Additional states being added to the eNLC will be announced later in 2019.
Quick facts about the nurse licensure compact states:
Your primary state of residence must be one of the compact nursing states. Primary residence is determined by where you file your tax return.
Nurses must still obtain licenses to qualify for travel nursing jobs in non-compact nursing states.
RNs, LPNs and LVNs are included in the compact. Advanced practice nurses are not.
A nurse whose primary state of residence is a compact state can apply for a multistate license, which allows nurses to practice in all nursing compact states.
Nurses who live in non-compact states but practice in a compact nursing state will be issued a nursing license valid only in that member state (single state license). The nurse will not be granted the "multistate privilege to practice" in other compact states.
Nurses are responsible for complying with the provisions of the Nurse Practice Act in all states where they practice.
Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact:
A new version of the Nurse Licensure Compact was been ratified by NCSBN in 2015 and officially enacted on July 20, 2017, when North Carolina became the 26th state to sign its provisions into law.
One of the new provisions of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact requires all nurses to pass a criminal background check before they can obtain a compact nursing license.
This new compact is being adopted by a growing number of states, and was officially implemented on January 19, 2018.
The enhanced NLC (eNLC) allows for RNs, LPNs and VNs to have one multi-state nursing license, giving them the ability to provide care to patients in their home state and other designated compact nursing states.
The enhanced nursing compact states afford several benefits; for example, nurses with a multi-state nursing license can provide care across state boundaries in the event of a disaster.
As of June 2019 the list of eNLC states includes:
- Kansas (as of July 1, 2019)
- Louisiana (as of July 1, 2019)
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Legislation pending for the following states:
- New Jersey
You can learn more about the Enhanced NLC here.
Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact News & Resources
Want to know how to get your compact nursing license or which states are the latest to become a nursing compact state?
Be sure to check back frequently as this section is updated often.
Need additional assistance getting your compact license? Travelnursing.com's partners will help you navigate the nursing compact licensure process and find your next travel nursing job in the compact state of your choice.