Licensure is a rite of passage for the nursing profession. Licensing is necessary to take on the ideal gigs and get top dollar. Getting the proper licensing is critical, especially for anyone looking to be a registered nurse who is interested in per diem or travel jobs. This article reviews the Nurse Licensure Compact, (NLC) as it is an essential document for all the nurses who want to live or work in one or multiple states.
What is a Nurse Licensure Compact?
The State Board of Nursing created the NLC that provides simplicity to nurses interested in working in different states with one compact license. There is no need to get a state license every time you go for an assignment to another state. A NLC is a multi-state license that allows nurses to reside and work in multiple states. You can live in one state and work in other compact states without issue.
What is a Nursing Compact State?
States that have completed the license application and moved beyond the pending legislation. As each state has a set of rules for healthcare professionals to follow, being a part of the compact license states opens the borders to a broader set of rules. These states refer to Nursing Compact Licensure- an agreement between states. View the state map here.
How to Get NLC?
You can start your career by graduating with a nursing degree, passing the NCLEX, and earning your license.
Here are the four basic steps to get your NLC:
1. Earn Your BSN Degree
The first step toward obtaining your compact nursing license is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You can apply for a license in the state where you intend to work after graduating from nursing school. The first step toward obtaining your compact nursing license is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
2. Choose a Compact State
The next step is to choose the state in which you intend to begin your nursing career. Finally, before applying for your nursing license, you need to pick the city where you’ll live and work.
A complete list of compact and non-compact states is available on the NLC map.
3. Apply for Your Nursing License
Once you have decided the state from which you will request a license, you can start the process of submitting your application. As a new nurse, you must apply for licensure by exam and approval to test (ATT). In addition, you will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination, NCLEX-RN, to be a licensed Registered Nurse.
4. Obtain Your License by Passing the NCLEX.
You can take the NCLEX in any state after submitting your application for licensure by exam and ATT. However, you must pass the exam in the region where you have applied for your license. You will receive your nursing license once you have passed the exam.
How to Get a Compact State Nursing License?
You must obtain a new nursing license when you move to another state for work, known as licensure by approval.
Because you live in a compact state, your single-state nursing license does not automatically become a compact license.
To receive a compact state nursing license, you must first confirm that your state is a part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. If your state is a member of the NLC and you meet the criteria of the state’s licensure, you can apply for a multi-state license.
Now you have your NLC, what is next?
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How to Maximize Your Nurse Licensure Compact
If you live in an NLC state, you can get your nursing license affordably. Nurses can work in telehealth, travel to nearby states to work, and aid in emergencies in rural and urban locations because of compact state licenses. With the NLC in one state can work in another state without applying for a new license.
Nurses can get benefits from working in a compact state in a variety of settings, including:
- Living across the state border from where they work
- Working as a travel nurse
- Working as a medical-surgical nurse
- Working as a disaster relief nurse
- Working as an ICU and ER nurse
- Extending telehealth nursing services to other states
The Benefits of the Nurse Licensure Compact
The National Council of Nursing State Board issues licenses according to state law. Nurses without state compact licensure can only give their services to organizations living in states they held NCLEX. The following are the benefits of the nursing licensure compact.
Possibilities to Earn More
The Compact License allows healthcare professionals such as ICU, ER, and med surge nurses to move around without obtaining specific licenses in each state, typically leading to a better job and compensation.
Nurses can now apply for positions in acute care or med surge across multiple states, which pay more and provide more benefits. You can also obtain a license to earn more in another state with the help of a Compact License.
Take the Travel Nursing Career to the Next Level
These perks are beneficial for nurses who wish to travel or work contract nursing from state to state. You can live near a state border and take your travel nursing career to the next level by bouncing around nearby towns and cities. Being a nurse with a Nursing Compact State license eliminates the complications of practicing in many states.
Nurses from Nursing License Compact states can practice across state lines without applying for licensure in each state or dealing with many renewal costs or requirements.
Opportunities for Nonstop Service
You can get the opportunities to serve both an urban and a rural market in the same week.
Nurses can begin working in any compact state immediately under the NLC agreement. Employers can use the NLC provision to fill vacant positions with nurses who meet the required credentials.
When nurses shift from one state to another, having a multi-state license makes the journey smoother. If you move to another NLC state, you must update your resident status as quickly as possible. However, the multi-state licensure allows you to practice in the meantime in a new state, which is beneficial for nurses. You can deliver your service to urban and rural markets in the same week.
Nurses who hold a multi-state nursing license can also work in telehealth and virtual nursing. Some of these positions may require multi-state licensure, especially if the nurse finds the need to contact a patient who lives in another state.