What You Need to Know About a Travel Nurse Compact License


Over a decade ago, the Nurse Licensure Compact was designed by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) with the hopes of eliminating regulatory obstacles and increase access to safe nursing care. There are currently 24 Nurse Licensure Compact States recognized by the NCSBN; with a few more awaiting legislation. Nurses with the compact license may practice both physically and/or electronically through an efficient method without further applications or fees across NLC state lines. The states with the license currently in effect include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In order to be eligible for a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), one must meet all of the following requirements.

1) Legally reside in an NLC state.

2) Hold an active RN or LPN/VN nursing license in good standing.

3) Declare a NLC state as the individual’s primary state of residency.

4) Meet the individual licensure requirements of home state.

* Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are not included in this compact.

So, what makes the compact license so valuable and how does working in a NLC state help land travel nurse jobs? TNs affirming a NLC state as their primary residence will be issued a compact nursing license by that state. Therefore, working in other nursing compact states won’t obligate any additional licenses to practice.  This makes obtaining assignments much simpler and faster. In addition, travel nurse jobs within the NLC states offer top pay, fantastic benefits, job flexibility, and great career development.

As far as a cost for the licensure, fees vary by state. There is not one standard fee when applying for a license in a compact state. Recruiters will gladly provide you with the information needed to obtain the license and can guide you along the process, but it is ultimately the nurse’s responsibility acquire it for the travel assignment.

Obtaining a compact license is a fairly quick process. A 120-day temporary license could be issued within ten working days from the date the finalized endorsement application and fee are received. If there is a state you are interested in working in that is not within the compact states, you can obtain a nursing license within them by contacting the State board and request the application packet. A directory of State Boards of Nursing can be found at the following web site: NCSBN

Author: Travel Nurse Source

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