How Do Compact Nursing Licenses Work?


The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), first established in the year 2000, is an interstate agreement that authorizes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses holding a multistate license to practice nursing in any other state that is included in the compact. A nurse that holds a multistate license is permitted to practice in person or via telehealth. It is essential to know that to practice telehealth properly, a nurse must be licensed or have the privilege to practice where the patient is located at the time nursing services are provided. 

A multistate license is not a national license to practice nursing; it’s a state license that is authorized by that nurse’s state regulatory body in that nurse’s primary state of residence. The NLC has uniform licensure requirements, so all member states can be confident in the qualifications of travel nurses since they have to meet the consistent standards. If you have questions about your ability to practice in another state, then it is crucial to speak to an experienced nursing license attorney.


If you live in California, it is important to know that California is not an NLC participating state. If you wanted to practice in another state, such as Arizona, then you will have to move your primary state of residence to Arizona and obtain your nursing license there to practice legally. Arizona is an NLC participating state, so making Arizona your primary residence can allow you to get a multistate license that will allow you to practice nursing in other NLC participating states. Most states across the country have enacted NLC legislation to be included as an NLC state. The states that are included in the NLC are: 

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

If you have questions about how you can expand the use of your nursing license to become a travel nurse to work in other states, that are part of the NCL that if you are interested in practicing nursing outside of California you should consult the licensing laws and regulations, and an attorney in those States, then you must get sound advice from an experienced professional. It is important to understand both the allowances and limitations of your nursing license so you don’t find yourself in trouble with the nursing board. 


The S.J. Harris Law Office is proud to offer FREE 30-minute consultations to all prospective clients. We realize that professionals who have questions about their licenses require representation that values discretion and privacy. Anything discussed during a consultation will be protected by attorney-client privilege even if you don’t hire us to represent you further. At S.J. Harris Law, we focus on preserving three things; your license, reputation, and future. Let our experience go to work for you today. Call us at (310) 361-8585 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.

Author : Scott J Harris