Nurse Licensure Compact

nurse compact states map
nurse compact states map

Eligibility to Apply for a Compact License

When it comes to your own nurse licensing, it's critical that you stay up-to-date on legislation that could impact how or where you practice. If you currently hold a multistate license or you've been thinking about traveling, there were enhancements to the NLC in 2018 that brought new states and new opportunities for travel.
 

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 were implemented on January 19, 2018. The original compact dissolved July 18, 2018. 

 

Only nurses who declare a compact state as their primary state of residence may be eligible for a multistate license.

As a resident of a noncompact state, you may apply for a license by endorsement in a compact state. Your eligibility will be limited to a single state license that is valid in that state only. As a resident of a noncompact state, you can have as many single-state licenses as you wish. 

 

 

What is a Primary State?

For compact purposes, primary state of residence is not related to property ownership in a given state. It is about your legal residency status. Everyone has legal documents such as a driver’s license, voter’s card, federal income tax return, military form no. 2058, or W2 form from the primary state of residence (PSOR). If a nurse’s PSOR is a compact state, that nurse may be eligible for a multistate (compact) license. If a nurse cannot declare a compact state as his/her PSOR, that nurse is not eligible for a compact license. They may apply for a single state license in any state where they wish to practice.

Approved States

AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY

 

If You Currently Hold a Multistate License

Your current license may have been grandfathered into the eNLC if the following criteria were 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 the 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.

 

Click here for NLC Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License.

Click here for an interactive map that reflects the status of each state.

Click here for a current PDF list of NLC member states.

 

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) website or your own state BON.

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