Updated Apr. 12, 2018--
When it comes to your own licensing, it's critical that you stay up-to-date on legislation that could impact how or where you practice nursing. If you currently hold a multistate license or you've been thinking about traveling, it's time to pay attention because there are changes coming that bring new states (and new opportunities for travel), but not every NLC state has passed new legislation to adopt the enhanced licensing.
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), first signed into law in 2000, has allowed nurses who hold a specific multistate license to practice in any NLC state. However, in 2017, NLC was enhanced and these changes are now scheduled for implementation on Jan. 19, 2018.
If your primary state of residence has adopted the enhanced NLC (eNLC) and you currently hold your state's NLC multistate license, you do not have to do anything if your license was obtained before July 20, 2017. The not-so-good news is that not every NLC state has passed legislation that would make them part of eNLC.
Click here for eNLC Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License.
Click here for an interactive map that reflects the status of each state.
Current eNLC states: AZ, AR, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IA, KY, ME, MD, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY
KS: Kansas, not part of the original NLC, has approved the eNLC with an implementation date of July 1, 2019.
WI: Until June 11, 2018, Wisconsin will be part of both the NLC and the eNLC.
What states are impacted?
The impact depends on whether your primary state of residence enacts the eNLC by the implementation date of Jan. 19, 2018. There are four scenarios:
- Current NLC states that have adopted the eNLC.
- Current NLC states that have not adopted the eNLC.
- New eNLC states (were not part of the original NLC)
- All other states that were not part of the NLC and have not adopted the eNLC.
Current NLC states that have adopted the eNLC
If your primary state of residence has enacted the eNLC, and all other requirements apply (see “Currently hold a multistate license?” below), then you will be grandfathered into the new eNLC and can practice in another eNLC state.
Current NLC states that have not adopted the eNLC
If your primary state of residence is part of the NLC but has not enacted eNLC (current NLC state RI is still in flux), you will need a single state license to practice in an enhanced NLC state. For example, you are a resident of RI and practice in AZ. If RI enacts the enhanced NLC, then RI and AZ are in the same compact and you can practice in any enhanced NLC state. This assumes that either you were grandfathered into enhanced NLC or if you applied after July 20, 2017, you were reviewed according to the enhanced NLC requirements and were issued the enhanced NLC multistate license. If RI does not enact the eNLC by Jan. 19, 2018, you will need an AZ single state license to practice in AZ.
RI Update: Enhanced NLC legislation is anticipated to be introduced after the legislative session opens on Jan. 2, 2018. RI residents can send a letter to legislators at https://nursecompact.com/takeaction.htm to voice their support for RI to remain a compact state through the enactment of eNLC legislation.
Click here for index of state boards of nursing.
New eNLC state (were not part of the original NLC)
The good news is that FL, GA, OK, WV, and WY are new states that have adopted eNLC. If you are a nurse in one of these states, you can now apply for a multistate license and start your travel adventure! If your primary state of residence has adopted the eNLC and you currently hold your state’s NLC multistate license, if your license was obtained before July 20, 2017, you can practice in one of these new states. The information below was obtained after we reached out to each new state.
Important! If you currently hold a multistate license, it’s always best to check with your state board of nursing (BON) to ensure that there is no impact to your license.
4/12/2018 UPDATE: Kansas has announced an implementation date of July 1, 2019. Kansas Board of Nursing site.
If you have a grandfathered compact license you may practice in Florida starting on Jan. 19, 2018.
- Jan. 19, 2018 revised applications will be available for licensure to align Florida’s requirements to those of the NLC for the issuance of multistate licenses (MSL). Individuals who apply before Jan. 19, 2018 will need to complete a separate “upgrade” application on or after January 19 if they want to be evaluated for a MSL.
- The fee for the MSL application is $100.00.
- For further information about the compact please see the Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a grandfathered compact license you may practice in Georgia starting on Jan. 19, 2018.
- As of Nov. 13, the necessary technological updates have not been finalized and the Board is not yet accepting applications to convert a single state license to a multistate license.
- Applications received after Jan. 19, 2018 will be evaluated against the eNLC uniform licensure requirements. Eligible applicants will be granted a multistate license.
- Application fee is $50.
- Must complete a background check per the eNLC.
- Continue monitoring the Board’s website at www.sos.ga.gov/plb/nursing for updates regarding the eNLC status.
If you have a grandfathered compact license you may practice in Oklahoma starting on Jan. 19, 2018.
- Application for multistate license expected to be live on the website in the License Registration link by Jan. 10, 2018.
- The application fee is $150. There will be an additional fee paid to the third party handling the fingerprinting process, and there may be other fees as well if additional documentation is required.
- Assuming the process times for this application type are the same as the state’s current applications, there should be about a five-day turnaround.
- The only licensees who will be able to practice in Oklahoma without benefit of an Oklahoma license on January 19 are those with an active multistate license from one of the other eNLC states.
If you have a grandfathered compact license you may practice in West Virginia starting on Jan. 19, 2018.
- Multistate licenses will be issued on or after January 19, 2018.
- All nurses who currently hold a single state license in West Virginia will receive an email regarding the process for converting to a multistate license.
To begin the Multistate RN application online, you must do the following:
- Have an active, unencumbered Registered Nurse license with the WV RN Board and have your primary residence in West Virginia.
- Fill out the needed form and submit payment*.
- Complete the West Virginia Background Check by submitting fingerprints for a state criminal background check and a federal criminal background check to complete the application for multistate licensure.
- Mail a detailed explanation and certified copies of all related documents. If you answered yes to a previous legal matter, you must submit certified copies of court documents to the Board office if they have not been previously provided.
*Check with state regarding fees.
If you have a grandfathered compact license you may practice in Wyoming starting on Jan. 19, 2018.
- If a nurse does not live in Wyoming and claim Wyoming as their primary state of residence, they cannot apply for a multistate through Wyoming.
- Once the compact rules and the state rules have been approved the Wyoming BON will have an application posted on their website.
- All applicants in Wyoming are required to have a background check.
- They are looking at additional fees but are awaiting approval of the rules.
- Wyoming’s standard processing time is 10-15 business days. At that time, if you have a complete application and meet the requirements, you may be granted a temporary license while waiting for the background check to be returned. The background check may possible take 30-45 days.
All other states that were not part of the NLC and have not adopted the eNLC
No change. Single state licenses still apply.
MI Update: HB 4938 was introduced Sept 13, 2017 and referred to the Committee on Health Policy.
NJ Update: SB 103 and AB 3917 were introduced in the initial year of the 2016-2017 legislative session.
MA Update: SB 1162 and HB 1188 were introduced Jan. 23, 2017. There is a lack of support from the nurse union.
Click here for index of state boards of nursing.
What's the difference between the NLC and the eNLC?
Basically, the eNLC states have adopted 11 uniform licensure requirements (ULRs) for an applicant to obtain a multistate license. One added and important requirement is federal and state fingerprint-based criminal background checks.
Currently hold a multistate license? Your current license may be grandfathered into the eNLC if the following criteria is met (source: www.ncsbn.org):
- Are a resident of an original NLC state that has enacted the enhanced NLC.
- Held an original NLC multistate license on July 20, 2017.
- Have not had a disqualifying event since July 20, 2017, which would nullify the grandfathering. Examples of disqualifying events include but are not limited to:
- Changing primary state of residence to another state.
- Allowing the license to lapse.
- Being convicted of any felony.
- Being convicted of a misdemeanor related to the practice of nursing whereby the conviction is determined to be a disqualifying event by the board of nursing.
- Having a license disciplined and placed probation or with any practice restrictions.
- Current enrollment in an alternative program.
When can I apply for an eNLC license?
States adopting eNLC will begin accepting applications for multistate licenses no later than Jan. 19, 2018. They can be accessed through your home state's board of nursing (BON) website.
How do I stay informed about the changes?
One of the best resources for updates regarding the new multistate license is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) eNLC Implementation web page or your own state BON.