Only One License

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)... allow us to help answer some common questions about compact state licensing:

As a traveling RN, how often have you gone from state to state only to have to apply for a license in each one? It can definitely be a time consuming repetitive task. That’s where the Nurse Licensure Compact or NLC comes in. An NLC allows an RN, LPN, or a LVN to have a single multi-state license, allowing you to practice both physically and electronically in other participating compact states.

Is every state a compact state?

No, not at this time, but quite a few states are participating. Here’s the list of all participating states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

How do I obtain an NLC?

Obtaining an NLC is pretty straightforward. There are just a couple things you need to know before you proceed. You must declare a compact state as your primary state of residency and hold a nursing license in good standing. Once obtained, you are able to practice in any compact state without filling out any other applications or paying any fees.

What if I need to travel to a noncompact state?

If you need to travel to a non-compact state you will need to hold a separate license for each noncompact state.

What if my primary state is a noncompact state?

Unfortunately, if you’re primary state of residency is a noncompact state then you are ineligible for a compact license. You will be issued a single state license, and will need to hold a separate license for each state you practice in.

I’m under disciplinary action; can I still work in other compact states?

It’s possible, but multistate privileges may be revoked while under disciplinary action, restricting you to your home state.

I’m about to graduate, am I eligible?

Yes, you are eligible. First, you must reside in a compact state, and second, when applying for a license you can only apply to the state board of nursing that you legally reside.

I’m planning on moving to a noncompact state, now what?

If you’re primary state of residency is a compact state, but you are now moving to a noncompact state then you will be issued a single state license. You will also need to apply for licensure by endorsement in the new state.

I’m moving to another compact state, do I need to do anything?

If you move from one compact state to another you may practice on your existing license for up to 30 days. You will need to apply for licensure by endorsement, pay any possible fees, and complete a declaration of your primary state in your new home state. A new license will then be issued while deactivating your old one.

I’m currently working on a visa, am I eligible?

Absolutely. You have the choice of declaring your primary state of residency as your country of origin or the compact state you are currently practicing. If you choose your country of origin then a single state license will be issued, otherwise you will be issued a multi-state license.

Having a multi-state license is really a benefit and can save many headaches while traveling around the country. If you have any questions about compact states, obtaining a multi-state license, or anything else, feel free to contact us.