What is the Nurse Licensure Compact?

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) allows nurses to uphold patient care when urgently necessary in the various partaking states. Nurses who live in a designated compact nursing state are able to obtain a compact license (multi-state license) to practice in other compact nursing states without having to purchase or apply for an additional state license.

Supported by countless nursing associations, the NLC gives new grads the opportunity to feel mobile and embrace the maximum benefits of becoming a nurse. Additionally, employers seek RNs who hold a multistate license because they can be readily available to practice in that state.

Benefits of the NLC include:

  • Makes practicing across state borders more affordable and convenient for nurses.
  • Eliminates expenses for healthcare organizations that expedite multiple nursing licenses.
  • Allows nurses to provide telehealth services across the country.
  • Gives the public access to safe, quality care.

Which States are Part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)?

There are currently 32 nurse compact states in the NLC. According to the NCSBN, there are a several pending compact nursing states, including Indiana and New Jersey.

How to Get Your Compact Nursing License (Multi-State Nursing License)

There is no Nurse Licensure Compact application. If your primary residence is considered a nursing compact state, you are eligible for a compact license for nursing. Each state requires nurses’ to visit the state board of nursing website and apply for licensure via endorsement/exam.

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, nurses are eligible to obtain a compact nursing license if they meet the following requirements:

  • Legally reside in a nurse compact state
  • Have an active RN or LPN/VN nursing license that’s in good standing
  • Claim a NLC state as primary state of residency, which is determined by where the individual files his/her federal taxes
  • Uphold the licensure requirements in his/her home state
  • Complete a criminal background check

Additional Tips for Nurses Inquiring about NLC States and Licensure:

The rules and requirements of how to get your compact nursing license can get complex if you plan on relocating. Below is some helpful information to help guide you provided by NCSBN.org.

1. Moving from a non-compact nursing state to a nurse compact state:

If you’re moving from a non-compact state to a compact state, you must apply for licensure via endorsement in your new home state. You must meet the residency and eligibility requirements first before a multi-state license will be issued. (Your single state license issued by the non-compact state will not be affected.)

2. Moving from a nurse compact state to a non-compact nurse state:

If you’re moving from a nurse compact state to a non-compact state, you’re required to apply for a new licensure by endorsement in your new home state. At this point, your compact nursing license will be changed to a single-state license, which is only valid in the state in which you reside. You must also notify the BON of the compact state of your new address.

3. Moving from a compact state to another compact state:

When a nurse who has a multi-state license permanently relocates, there are specific considerations for maintaining licensure. You can practice on the former home state license until your license in the new state is issued. You will be required to apply for license by endorsement, and your new proof of residency will be required. You will be given a new multistate license and the former will be inactivated. Additionally, you must notify the BON in the former home state of your new address.

Interested in a Travel Nursing Job in a Nurse Compact State?

Thanks to the Nurse Licensure Compact, becoming a travel nurse has never been easier. Nurses who have declared the compact state as their primary residence are allowed to use the multi-state license. Those who have claimed residency in a non-compact state, are not eligible for the compact state nursing license (multistate license). But that does NOT mean those nurses cannot work in a compact state. There are other ways to apply for a nursing license. Contact American Mobile today for more information about how to obtain your nursing license. 


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