The Ultimate Guide to Compact Licenses for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses are becoming more prevalent as hospitals and healthcare facilities are still facing staffing shortages across the United States. Being a travel nurse is a great way to make good money while exploring the country coast to coast. One of the easiest ways to start your travel nursing career is by having a compact state license. We’ll go through everything you need to know about obtaining a compact license as a travel nurse.

What is a compact nursing license?

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) simplifies the process for nurses practicing across multiple states. Nurses who reside in NLC states have the ability to cross state lines to practice, without having to apply for licenses in multiple states, incur fees or renewal requirements. With travel nursing on the rise in the United States, this program helps mobilize more nurses across the country. 

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for a compact license, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • You must reside in an NLC state, and you must declare an NLC state as your primary state of residence. 
  • If you are relocating, you must change your primary residence to the new state you will be residing in, even if your compact license status does not change with relocation.
  • You must be actively licensed as a registered nurse.
  • You must meet any requirements for licensure held by your home state, however when practicing in a different state, you will also be held to the standards of the state where the patient/practice is located.

Current NLC States

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

NLC enacted, waiting for implementation

  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont

Pending NLC Legislation

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S Virgin Islands

For more information about compact nursing licenses for travel nurses, click here to learn more. If you’ve got your compact license in hand and ready to find your next adventure, Squad is here to help you find your next travel nursing assignment.

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