Nursing Compact States

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Table

Introduction

Nurses need a license to practice and this nursing license is provided by various nursing regulatory bodies, mainly the Board of Nursing, to 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.

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 when 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.

Compact Nursing States

StateNursing Compact Status
California No Legislation
Connecticut No Legislation
Hawaii No Legislation
Nevada No Legislation
Oregon No Legislation
Alaska Pending NLC Legislation
Illinois Pending NLC Legislation
Massachusetts Pending NLC Legislation
Michigan Pending NLC Legislation
Minnesota Pending NLC Legislation
New York Pending NLC Legislation
Rhode Island Pending NLC Legislation
Washington Pending NLC Legislation
Ohio Awaiting NLC Implementation
Pennsylvania Awaiting NLC Implementation
Alabama NLC State
Arizona NLC State
Arkansas NLC State
Colorado NLC State
Delaware NLC State
Florida NLC State
Georgia NLC State
Idaho NLC State
Indiana NLC State
Iowa NLC State
Kansas NLC State
Kentucky NLC State
Louisiana NLC State
Maine NLC State
Maryland NLC State
Mississippi NLC State
Missouri NLC State
Montana NLC State
Nebraska NLC State
New Hampshire NLC State
New Jersey NLC State
New Mexico NLC State
North Carolina NLC State
North Dakota NLC State
Oklahoma NLC State
South Carolina NLC State
South Dakota NLC State
Tennessee NLC State
Texas NLC State
Utah NLC State
Vermont NLC State
Virginia NLC State
West Virginia NLC State
Wisconsin NLC State
Wyoming NLC State

Nursing License Compact States

The NLC is upheld by a vast majority of states in the US, 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.

The 37 states who have signed up to the NLC agreement are the following:

1. Alabama
2. Arizona
3. Arkansas
4. Colorado
5. Delaware
6. Florida
7. Georgia
8. Idaho
9. Indiana
10. Iowa
11. Kansas
12. Kentucky
13. Louisiana
14. Maine
15. Maryland
16. Mississippi
17. Missouri
18. Montana
19. Nebraska
20. New Hampshire
21. New Jersey
22. New Mexico
23. North Carolina
24. North Dakota
25. Ohio
26. Oklahoma
27. Pennsylvania
28. South Carolina
29. South Dakota
30. Tennessee
31. Texas
32. Utah
33. Vermont
34. Virginia
35. West Virginia
36. Wisconsin
37. Wyoming

Compact States for Nursing

Alabama

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Alabama is a nursing compact state, allowing registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) with a multistate license to practice in Alabama and other compact states without the need for additional licensure.

Alaska

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Pending NLC Legislation

Arizona

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NLC State

As a nursing compact state, Arizona enables RNs and LPNs holding a multistate license to provide healthcare services within Arizona and other compact states, ensuring flexibility and mobility in their nursing practice.

Arkansas

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NLC State

Nurses holding a multistate license can practice in Arkansas and other nursing compact states seamlessly, thanks to Arkansas being a participant in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

California

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No Legislation

Colorado

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NLC State

By being a nursing compact state, Colorado allows RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice nursing in Colorado and other compact states, promoting workforce mobility and improving access to healthcare services.

Connecticut

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No Legislation

Delaware

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NLC State

Delaware's participation in the nursing compact means that nurses with a multistate license can practice in Delaware and other compact states, facilitating the delivery of quality healthcare across state lines.

Florida

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NLC State

As a nursing compact state, Florida permits RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice nursing within Florida and other compact states, ensuring efficient healthcare delivery and enhanced opportunities for nursing professionals.

Georgia

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NLC State

Georgia's participation in the nursing compact enables RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice nursing in Georgia and other compact states, promoting collaboration and access to healthcare services across borders.

Hawaii

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No Legislation

Idaho

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NLC State

Idaho's membership in the nursing compact allows nurses with a multistate license to practice in Idaho and other compact states, fostering mobility and ensuring a responsive healthcare workforce.

Illinois

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Pending NLC Legislation

Indiana

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NLC State

Being a nursing compact state, Indiana permits nurses holding a multistate license to practice in Indiana and other compact states, facilitating efficient and effective nursing practice across state lines.

Iowa

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NLC State

Iowa's participation in the nursing compact allows RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice in Iowa and other compact states, promoting flexibility and responsiveness in nursing care delivery.

Kansas

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NLC State

Kansas is a nursing compact state, which means that nurses holding a multistate license can practice in Kansas and other compact states, promoting access to healthcare and supporting the mobility of nursing professionals.

Kentucky

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NLC State

By being a nursing compact state, Kentucky allows RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice nursing in Kentucky and other compact states, facilitating the provision of quality care and collaboration among healthcare professionals.

Louisiana

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NLC State

Louisiana's participation in the nursing compact enables nurses with a multistate license to practice in Louisiana and other compact states, promoting workforce mobility, enhancing patient care, and facilitating the exchange of nursing expertise.

Maine

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NLC State

Maine's membership in the nursing compact allows RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice in Maine and other compact states, ensuring flexibility, accessibility, and quality in nursing practice.

Maryland

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NLC State

As a nursing compact state, Maryland permits nurses holding a multistate license to practice in Maryland and other compact states, fostering cooperation and facilitating the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services.

Massachusetts

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Pending NLC Legislation

Michigan

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Pending NLC Legislation

Minnesota

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Pending NLC Legislation

Mississippi

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Mississippi's participation in the nursing compact enables nurses with a multistate license to practice in Mississippi and other compact states, promoting collaboration, continuity of care, and efficient utilization of nursing resources.

Missouri

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NLC State

Missouri is a nursing compact state, allowing nurses with a multistate license to practice in Missouri and other compact states, ensuring workforce mobility, promoting healthcare access, and supporting the delivery of high-quality patient care.

Montana

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

By being a nursing compact state, Montana enables RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice nursing in Montana and other compact states, fostering nursing workforce mobility and enhancing healthcare delivery.

Nebraska

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NLC State

Nebraska's participation in the nursing compact allows nurses with a multistate license to practice in Nebraska and other compact states, promoting efficient healthcare delivery and facilitating professional collaboration.

Nevada

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No Legislation

New Hampshire

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

New Hampshire is a nursing compact state, enabling nurses with a multistate license to practice in New Hampshire and other compact states, promoting access to healthcare services and supporting nursing professionals' career mobility.

New Jersey

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

As a nursing compact state, New Jersey allows nurses with a multistate license to practice in New Jersey and other compact states, facilitating seamless nursing practice, improving healthcare access, and enhancing patient outcomes.

New Mexico

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NLC State

Nurses holding a multistate license can practice in New Mexico and other nursing compact states due to New Mexico's participation in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), promoting workforce mobility and ensuring quality nursing care.

New York

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Pending NLC Legislation

North Carolina

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

North Carolina's membership in the nursing compact allows RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice in North Carolina and other compact states, promoting collaboration, professional growth, and efficient healthcare delivery.

North Dakota

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Being a nursing compact state, North Dakota permits nurses with a multistate license to practice in North Dakota and other compact states, fostering mobility, access to care, and utilization of nursing resources.

Ohio

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Awaiting NLC Implementation

Ohio is awaiting NLC implementation, which means that once implemented, RNs and LPNs with a multistate license will be able to practice in Ohio and other compact states, supporting healthcare delivery and nursing workforce flexibility.

Oklahoma

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NLC State

Oklahoma is a nursing compact state, allowing nurses with a multistate license to practice in Oklahoma and other compact states, enhancing access to care, promoting nursing collaboration, and facilitating the exchange of nursing expertise.

Oregon

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No Legislation

Pennsylvania

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Nursing Compact Status

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Awaiting NLC Implementation

Pennsylvania is currently awaiting NLC implementation, which, once in effect, will enable RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice in Pennsylvania and other compact states, promoting nursing mobility and facilitating the provision of quality patient care.

Rhode Island

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Pending NLC Legislation

South Carolina

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

South Carolina's participation in the nursing compact allows nurses with a multistate license to practice in South Carolina and other compact states, fostering workforce mobility, promoting healthcare access, and improving patient outcomes.

South Dakota

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

By being a nursing compact state, South Dakota permits RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice nursing in South Dakota and other compact states, promoting collaboration, professional development, and efficient healthcare delivery.

Tennessee

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Tennessee is a nursing compact state, enabling nurses with a multistate license to practice in Tennessee and other compact states, supporting workforce mobility, enhancing healthcare access, and promoting nursing excellence.

Texas

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Texas is a nursing compact state, allowing nurses with a multistate license to practice in Texas and other compact states, promoting mobility, facilitating access to healthcare services, and supporting the delivery of quality patient care.

Utah

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Utah's participation in the nursing compact enables RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice in Utah and other compact states, promoting flexibility, collaboration among healthcare professionals, and ensuring efficient utilization of nursing resources.

Vermont

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NLC State

By being a nursing compact state, Vermont permits nurses with a multistate license to practice in Vermont and other compact states, fostering workforce mobility, supporting healthcare access, and promoting the highest standards of nursing practice.

Virginia

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Virginia is a nursing compact state, enabling nurses with a multistate license to practice in Virginia and other compact states, ensuring nursing workforce mobility, enhancing patient care coordination, and promoting professional collaboration.

Washington

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Nursing Compact Status

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Pending NLC Legislation

West Virginia

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

West Virginia's participation in the nursing compact allows nurses with a multistate license to practice in West Virginia and other compact states, supporting healthcare access, promoting nursing excellence, and facilitating the exchange of best practices.

Wisconsin

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Wisconsin is a nursing compact state, permitting nurses with a multistate license to practice in Wisconsin and other compact states, enhancing nursing workforce flexibility, supporting healthcare delivery, and promoting patient-centered care.

Wyoming

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Nursing Compact Status

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NLC State

Wyoming's membership in the nursing compact allows RNs and LPNs with a multistate license to practice in Wyoming and other compact states, fostering mobility, promoting access to care, and facilitating collaboration among nursing professionals.

FAQs

How many states are compact nursing states ?

Currently, there are 37 states that have adopted the nursing compact and are considered compact nursing states. These states have enacted legislation or are in the process of implementing the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) to facilitate the practice of nursing across state lines.

What are the nursing compact states ?

The nursing compact states currently are 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, and Wyoming.

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