One Aspect of an Ever-Changing Nursing Industry Remains Dated & Untouched

Story---Hospital-and-Helicopter-484x252-PNGOver the past century, advancements in technology and science have transformed the nursing industry as a whole. Changing health care policies, crowdsourced recruiting with companies like Relode, electronic medical record keeping and the birth of new specialized certifications have all been instrumental in helping nurses provide exceptional patient care.

Yet, through these transformational changes, one aspect of nursing has remained untouched: nursing licensure.

Today in the 21st century, nurses are still required to use the dated standards of a 100-year-old nursing licensure model, even though it lacks the flexibility and adaptability that modern health care delivery requires.

Nurse Licensure Compact Was Created as a Solution

Imagine a world where nurses could care for patients anywhere in the United States. Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) was created to make this idea a reality. The NLC was launched in 2000 as an initiative to expand the mobility of nurses — increasing access to care across the nation while maintaining public protection at the state level.

How Can Nurses Benefit from the NLC?

The NLC benefits nurses in a number of ways. First and foremost, it enables nurses to practice both in person and via telehealth, working with patients located across the country without the barrier of having to obtain additional licenses, saving them both time and money.

In the event of a major disaster, it allows nurses the ability to quickly cross state borders to deliver aid. The NLC also benefits military spouses with nursing licenses, who often find themselves relocating every couple of years.

What States Does The NLC Currently Serve?

As of February 2017, the following states are part of the multi-state Nurse Licensure Compact:

  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • Utah
  • Kentucky
  • Arizona
  • Tennessee
  • Colorado
  • South Carolina
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • North Dakota
  • Maryland
  • South Dakota
  • Delaware
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island
  • Iowa
  • New Hampshire
  • Missouri
  • Maine
  • Arkansas
  • Montana
  • Wisconsin


If your state is on the above list, it means you are one step closer to achieving a multi-state license. Though, there are a few other factors you need to consider.

You are eligible to obtain a multi-state license if you:

  1. Legally reside in an NLC State.
  1. Hold an active RN or LPN/LVN nursing license in good standing (APRN’s are not included).
  1. Declare an NLC state as your primary state of residency.
  1. Meet the licensure requirements in your home state. When working in a remote state, you will also be held accountable to the nurse practice act of the state where the patient is located or where practice occurs.

What if My State is not Currently Part of the NLC?

The NLC has grown tremendously over the past 17 years, expanding its reach to nearly half of the nation’s states. With that said, if your state isn’t currently part of the NLC, it may be a good idea to contact your state legislator, which you can do here.

A Few Final Thoughts on How the Nurse Licensure Compact is Revolutionizing Nursing

Health care delivery is changing every day, requiring that nursing care be easily accessible across the United States. It is not uncommon for nurses to provide care across state borders both physically and electronically, nor for patients to travel across state lines for health care. The single state license (one license for every state the nurse practices in) is no longer realistic — it is expensive, it hinders nurses mobility and most importantly limits access to care for patients.

If you are interested in learning more about the NLC and its impact on nursing, read more here. And if you’re interested in finding a new nursing position in another state, check out your options here.


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