Although the compact licensure for states was enacted to be easier for travel nurses to be licensed, it still manages to be a little confusing to understand. In a nutshell, it allows a nurse (RN and LPN) that lives in and has a current nursing license in a state that is a member of the NLC to practice in any of the other member states without having to obtain additional licensing.
Seems pretty straight forward, but there are some technicality questions that can arise… What if I don’t live in an NLC state? What determines what my primary residence? While several sites offer information on the compacts states, it is always best to go straight to the source. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has a section dedicated to this information, along with a frequently asked questions page.
Here is a basic summary of the facts on Nurse Licensure Compact:
- To work in other compact states, a nurse’s primary state of residence must be one of the 22 compact states. Primary residence is determined by where the nurse declares residence on his/her tax return.
- A nurse whose primary state of residence is a compact state will be issued a license by that state. The nurse will no longer need additional licenses to practice in other states that are members of the compact.
- Nurses must still obtain licenses to work in non-compact states.
- Nurses who live in non-compact states, but practice in a compact state will be issued a nursing license valid only in that member state (single state license). The nurse will not be granted the “multi-state privilege to practice” in other compact states.
- Nurses are responsible for complying with the provisions of the Nurse Practice Act in all states where they practice.
- RNs, LPNs and LVNs are included in the compact. Advanced practice nurses are not.
- Currently there is no such licensure arrangement for allied health care professionals.