One of the most common questions that prospective travel nurses have is, “How easy is it to work in different states?” A key answer to this question is the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. This post explains what the compact is, the states that participate in it, requirements for it, and what nurses need to know.
The History of the Compact
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) approved the licensure for nurses that would apply across multiple states. This became known as the Nurse Licensure Compact. It was created to give nurses the flexibility and mobility necessary to care for patients in different settings. The model was approved in 1997 with the first three states joining in 2000. By 2013, there were 24 states. The enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) was adopted in 2015 and implemented beginning in 2017 to help address the licensing requirements that vary among participating states. As of 2020, over 30 states are a part of the compact.
Requirements for the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact
In addition to meeting state requirements, nurses must meet other qualifications including:
- Be a native English speaker or pass a proficiency test.
- Passed the NCLEX Exam or previous exams.
- Has an active and unencumbered license.
- No state or felony convictions.
- No misdemeanors related to nursing.
- Not participating in an alternative program.
- Has a valid SSN.
Since the compact does not apply to every state, non-eNLC states will need to apply for a single state license. Nurses can have multiple single-state licenses.
They are required to complete CEs while holding an eNLC license and must do the number of hours required by their state.
What Nurses Need to Know
In states that are currently a part of the eNLC, nurses are notified by their state’s nursing board that they have the option to switch to an eNLC license. To get one, a nurse must meet their own state’s requirements for a license and then apply for an eNLC license. They must have a permanent address and be a resident in a participating eNLC state to receive a license. If the nurse moves and fails to notify their home state nursing board, their eNLC license could be revoked.
Which States Participate?
Current states that are a part of the eNLC include as of March 16, 2021:
Louisiana (Registered Nurse and Practical Nurse)
New Jersey (Active and unencumbered license holders only.)
West Virginia (Registered Nurse and Practical Nurse)
If you’re a nurse searching for work across participating eNLC states, turn to NexNurse. NexNurse helps connect nurses to employers across the country. Create a free profile today.
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