Nursing Compact States

The Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) is a multi-state agreement that allows nurses to have their state compact licenses recognized in multiple participating states, rather than making them apply for a new license in a state that is different from the one in which they acquired their license. States involved in this agreement are called Compact Nursing States.

The agreement works exceptionally well for nurses who are traveling, decide to move to a different state in the United States, or who are needed to work in another state due to an emergency scenario. The most recent iteration of the last example was during the Covid-19 pandemic, where many nurses went to highly afflicted areas, some beyond the borders of the state in which they became licensed.

Proponents of the nurse licensure compact argue that it helps make healthcare accessible, reduces the cost of insurance, hospitals, and patients, and that it makes the healthcare system as a whole more robust. In spite of that, there are still many states that actively do not desire to be included in the NLC interstate agreement.

The nurse licensure compact agreement is upheld by a vast majority of states in the U.S., and of the states that don’t currently abide by it, many have pending legislation that will enact it, or legislation that has been passed and that is just waiting to be implemented.

Nursing License

A nursing license is the process by which various nursing regulatory bodies, mainly the Board of Nursing, regulate the practice of nursing within its jurisdiction. The main purpose of a nursing license is to grant the permission and right to practice as a nurse after verifying that the applicant has met the minimal requirements to do so.

Nursing is an important job and crucial to a functioning society, this was made clear during the Covid-19 pandemic where it became very clear how essential nurses are to a nation’s overall health and wellbeing. In the United States however many nurses are struggling to attain their nurse licenses and causing an overall shortage of staff in hospitals. This shortage is further exacerbated by factors like an aging population and nurse burnout or retirement. Agreements like the Nursing License Compact (NLC), can help alleviate nursing shortages as this agreement enables nurses to work in other states that are a part of the agreement.

Compact Nursing States

The NLC is an agreement that seeks to provide nurses with flexibility and enable them and their nursing licensing to be somewhat universal throughout the United States. The states who have signed up to the NLC agreement are the following:

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

Learn more about the nurse licensure compact by exploring the data in the charts.

Nurse Licensure Compact Status by State

Alabama

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$61,920

#50 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,012

#43 in the US

Alaska

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$97,230

#5 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$37,814

#1 in the US

Arizona

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$81,600

#15 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$7,848

#44 in the US

Arkansas

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$65,810

#47 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$7,300

#47 in the US

California

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

No Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$124,000

#1 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$11,753

#18 in the US

Colorado

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$80,670

#16 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$10,281

#25 in the US

Connecticut

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

No Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$88,530

#11 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$16,516

#2 in the US

Delaware

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$77,760

#20 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$14,728

#6 in the US

Florida

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$72,000

#33 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$10,384

#24 in the US

Georgia

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$75,380

#26 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,413

#40 in the US

Hawaii

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No Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$106,530

#2 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$15,002

#5 in the US

Idaho

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$73,640

#28 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$10,220

#26 in the US

Illinois

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$78,260

#19 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$7,519

#46 in the US

Indiana

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$68,890

#40 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,724

#34 in the US

Iowa

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$64,990

#48 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,249

#42 in the US

Kansas

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$66,560

#46 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$7,556

#45 in the US

Kentucky

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$67,260

#44 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,614

#35 in the US

Louisiana

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$70,380

#37 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$6,911

#48 in the US

Maine

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$73,630

#29 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$12,593

#14 in the US

Maryland

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$82,660

#14 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$12,410

#16 in the US

Massachusetts

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$96,630

#6 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$15,148

#4 in the US

Michigan

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$75,930

#25 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$10,914

#22 in the US

Minnesota

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$84,030

#13 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$13,921

#9 in the US

Mississippi

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$63,130

#49 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,541

#38 in the US

Missouri

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$67,790

#42 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$6,315

#50 in the US

Montana

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$73,610

#30 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$9,089

#29 in the US

Nebraska

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$69,850

#38 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,979

#30 in the US

Nevada

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

No Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$88,800

#10 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$11,060

#21 in the US

New Hampshire

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$78,270

#18 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$13,140

#11 in the US

New Jersey

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$89,690

#9 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$13,504

#10 in the US

New Mexico

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$77,590

#21 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$9,125

#28 in the US

New York

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$93,320

#8 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$15,330

#3 in the US

North Carolina

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$71,200

#35 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,979

#31 in the US

North Dakota

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$71,200

#36 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$14,374

#7 in the US

Ohio

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

Awaiting NLC Implementation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$71,640

#34 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,760

#32 in the US

Oklahoma

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$68,180

#41 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$6,570

#49 in the US

Oregon

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

No Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$98,630

#3 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$12,410

#17 in the US

Pennsylvania

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Awaiting NLC Implementation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$76,000

#24 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$12,484

#15 in the US

Rhode Island

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Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$85,270

#12 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$11,315

#19 in the US

South Carolina

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$69,580

#39 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,742

#33 in the US

South Dakota

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$60,540

#51 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,541

#39 in the US

Tennessee

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$66,680

#45 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,578

#37 in the US

Texas

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$79,120

#17 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$6,150

#51 in the US

Utah

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$72,790

#32 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,614

#36 in the US

Vermont

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$75,160

#27 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$12,702

#12 in the US

Virginia

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$76,680

#23 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$9,855

#27 in the US

Washington

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Pending NLC Legislation

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$95,350

#7 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$11,315

#20 in the US

West Virginia

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NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT STATUShelp

NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$67,640

#43 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$13,943

#8 in the US

Wisconsin

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$76,850

#22 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$10,826

#23 in the US

Wyoming

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NLC State

NURSING ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGEhelp

$73,130

#31 in the US

NURSING HOME COSTShelp

$8,395

#41 in the US