Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I was curious about obtaining a compact license from South Carolina. I was told by my recruiter that because I am staying in South Carolina for six months that I can somehow use the South Carolina address to obtain my compact license while keeping my permanent address in Pennsylvania which is my original state of licensure. Is this true? If so, how do I go about doing this and how do I get a compact license? Thanks so much!
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
Please allow this to be a cautionary tale to anyone who receives information from their recruiters about licensure.
While I can provide some insight into your question, let me first say that I do tell nurses to ask their recruiters about licensure in other states. However, the only question I encourage them to ask is about average licensure time.
The recruiters work closely with travel nurses to get them positions in states where they may often not already have an active nursing license. For these assignments, the recruiter and nurse are usually in close communication about when, or how long it will be, until the nurse is able to secure their license. So many recruiters become familiar with the common “wait-times” on different state licenses.
However, I also always caution people that when dealing with any board of nursing, go straight to the board with any questions. Do NOT expect that your recruiters can always be up to speed with the licensing requirements of any particular state (even if they send travelers there often).
With that said, and from the information given in your post, what your recruiter told you was incorrect.
From the Nurse Licensure Compact site:
“In order to be eligible for a compact license, your declared primary state of residence must be a compact state. Owning property in a compact state is not sufficient to meet residence requirements. Proof of residence includes obtaining a driver’s license, voting/registering to vote or filing federal taxes with an address in that state.”
So merely staying in a compact state, will NOT enable you to apply for a compact license in that state. You must fill out a declaration form with the board and show proof that the compact state is now your official state of residence.
While there are a few “rules” of the game that you can bend in travel nursing, anything having to do with your license should be off the table. When it comes to a license that governs your career and livelihood, play it straight.
For more info on the NLC, visit them here.
Hope this helps.
I was curious