Compact Nursing License

compact nursing license A compact nursing license enables registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to work across state borders in 24 states in America.

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) became law on January 1, 2000 by the first participating states of Maryland, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Since then, the NLC has grown to 24 states who have agreed to honor each others nursing licenses.

A qualified RN, LPN or LVN who permanently lives in a NLC state has a multi-state nursing license and is allowed to work in the other participating states. These states are commonly known as the ‘compact states’ and currently around one million nurses qualify.

A Compact Nursing License Is Like A Driver’s License

A compact nursing license works like a driver’s license. Let’s say RN Julianne permanently moves from to Delaware to Maine. She can drive in Maine using her Delaware driver’s license for 30 days before she needs to get a Maine driver’s license to legally be on the roads.

It is the same concept with a nursing license from a compact state. In this example, Julianne would have 30 days to change over her Delaware nursing license for a Maine nursing license.

But this is a simple, straight-forward process because Julianne has multi-state nursing privileges. She is legally allowed to practice nursing in any other compact state without going through the hassle of obtaining a new license for each state that participates in the NLC.

A Compact Nursing License Is Ideal For Travel Nurses

Here is another example of how useful a compact nursing license can be. Let’s say Sarah lives in the compact state of Nebraska close to the Iowa state line. As long as Sarah maintains a permanent residence in Nebraska, she can commute across the state line and work in Iowa (another compact state) using her Nebraska nursing license.

She just needs to show her Nebraska license and proof of residency and she can start work immediately. The convenience and cost-savings of having a compact nursing license has made them very popular with travel nurses. Travel nurses living in compact states don’t have to worry about the licensure process and are able to concentrate on getting to their new assignment as quickly as possible.

“Compact states are so easy to travel to that it is almost not worth going anywhere else,” says Julie Magee, ASN, an intensive care nurse currently assigned to Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque.

“At first, I wanted to travel to Seattle, but instead I chose to do an assignment in a compact state because it was simpler than waiting for a license to come through. If it is an ordeal to get a state license, then I’m less likely to accept assignments there.”

The NLC is also popular with hospitals, particularly in emergencies. They are able to tap into a broader pool of RNs, LPNs and LVNs from other compact states immediately if they need reinforcements or urgent extra staff. The NLC cuts out all the red tape so nurses can be on the ground and working in a matter of days, or sometimes even hours.

Of course, that quick turnaround isn’t applicable only to emergencies. It’s very handy whenever a facility needs supplemental staff on short notice. Because of the faster NCL process they can get nurses with a compact nursing license at very short notice.

At the moment, 24 states participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact. Another five other states – Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York – are working on legislation to join the NCL consortium.

compact nursing license statesThese 24 U.S states currently recognize the NCL compact nursing license:

Arizona
Arizona State Board of Nursing
4747 North 7th Street, Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85014-3655
Phone: 602.771.7800
Fax: 602.771.7888
Website: www.azbn.gov
Contact: Joey Ridenour, MN, RN, FAAN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2002

Arkansas
Arkansas State Board of Nursing
University Tower Building
1123 S. University, Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204-1619
Phone: 501.686.2700
Fax: 501.686.2714
Website: http://www.arsbn.arkansas.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Contact: Sue Tedford, MNSc, APN, RN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2000

Colorado
Colorado Board of Nursing
1560 Broadway, Suite 1370
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303.894.2430
Fax: 303.894.2430
Website: www.dora.state.co.us/nursing/
Contact: Kennetha Julien, JD, Program Director
Compact nursing license implemented 10/1/2007

Delaware
Delaware Board of Nursing
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Cannon Building, Suite 203
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: 302.744.4500
Fax: 302.739.2711
Website: http://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/nursing/
Contact: Pamela Zickafoose, Ed.D, RN, CNA-BC, CNE, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2000

Idaho
Idaho Board of Nursing
280 N. 8th Street, Suite 210
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
Phone: 208.334.3110
Fax: 208.334.3262
Website: http://ibn.idaho.gov/IBNPortal/
Contact: Sandra Evans, MAEd, RN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2001

Iowa
Iowa Board of Nursing
RiverPoint Business Park
400 S.W. 8th Street
Suite B Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
Phone: 515.281.3255
Fax: 515.281.4825
Website: http://nursing.iowa.gov
Contact: Lorinda Inman, MSN, RN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2000

Kentucky
Kentucky Board of Nursing
312 Whittington Parkway, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40222
Phone: 502.429.3300
Fax: 502.429.3311
Website: www.kbn.ky.gov
Contact: Nathan Goldman, JD, Interim Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 6/1/2007

Maine
Maine State Board of Nursing
Regular mailing address:
158 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Street address (for FedEx & UPS):
161 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: 207.287.1133
Fax: 207.287.1149
Website: www.maine.gov/boardofnursing/
Contact: Myra Broadway, JD, MS, RN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2001

Maryland
Maryland Board of Nursing
4140 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
Phone: 410.585.1900
Fax: 410.358.3530
Website: www.mbon.org
Contact: Patricia Ann Noble, MSN, RN Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2000

Mississippi
Mississippi Board of Nursing
1080 River Oaks Drive
Flowood, MS 39232
Phone: 601.664.9303
Fax: 601.664.9304
Website: http://www.msbn.state.ms.us/
Contact: Melinda E. Rush, DSN, FNP, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2001

Missouri
Missouri State Board of Nursing
3605 Missouri Blvd.
P.O. Box 656
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0656
Phone: 573.751.0681
Fax: 573.751.0075
Website: http://www.pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp
Contact: Lori Scheidt, MBA-HCM, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 6/1/2010

Nebraska
Nebraska Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Board
Office of Nursing and Nursing Support
DHHS, Division of Public Health, Licensure Unit
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
Phone: 402.471.6443
Fax: 402.471.1066
Website: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_nursing_nursingindex.aspx
Contact: Karen Bowen, MS, RN, Executive Director

Nebraska Board of Nursing
Nebraska Office of Nursing and Nursing Support
DHHS, Division of Public Health, Licensure Unit
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
Phone: 402.471.4376
Fax: 402.471.1066
Website: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_nursing_nursingindex.aspx
Contact: Karen Bowen, MS, RN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2001

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Board of Nursing
21 South Fruit Street
Suite 16
Concord, NH 03301-2341
Phone: 603.271.2323
Fax: 603.271.6605
Website: www.state.nh.us/nursing
Contact: Denise Nies, MS, RN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2006

New Mexico
New Mexico Board of Nursing
6301 Indian School Road, NE
Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Phone: 505.841.8340
Fax: 505.841.8347
Website: www.bon.state.nm.us
Contact: Nancy Darbro, PhD, APRN, CNS, LPCC, LADAC, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2004

North Carolina
North Carolina Board of Nursing
4516 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919.782.3211
Fax: 919.781.9461
Website: www.ncbon.com
Contact: Julia L. George, MSN, RN, FRE, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2000

North Dakota
North Dakota Board of Nursing
919 South 7th Street, Suite 504
Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: 701.328.9777
Fax: 701.328.9785
Website: https://www.ndbon.org
Contact: Constance Kalanek, PhD, RN, FRE, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2004

Rhode Island
Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education
105 Cannon Building
Three Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401.222.5700
Fax: 401.222.3352
Website: http://www.health.ri.gov/for/nurses/index.php
Contact: Lori Keough, PhD, MSN, M.Ed, BSN, Executive Officer
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2008

South Carolina
South Carolina State Board of Nursing
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 12367
Columbia, SC 29211
Physical Address:
Synergy Business Park, Kingstree Building
110 Centerview Drive, Suite 202
Columbia, SC 29210
Phone: 803.896.4550
Fax: 803.896.4515
Website: www.llr.state.sc.us/pol/nursing/
Contact: Nancy Murphy MS, RN, BC, CPM, Administrator
Compact nursing license implemented 2/1/2006

South Dakota
South Dakota Board of Nursing
4305 South Louise Ave., Suite 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115
Phone: 605.362.2760
Fax: 605.362.2768
Website: www.state.sd.us/doh/nursing/
Contact: Gloria Damgaard, MS, RN, FRE, Executive Secretary
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2001

Tennessee
Tennessee State Board of Nursing
227 French Landing, Suite 300
Heritage Place MetroCenter
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615.532.5166
Fax: 615.741.7899
Website: http://health.state.tn.us/Boards/Nursing/index.htm
Contact: Elizabeth Lund, MSN, RN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 7/1/2003

Texas
Texas Board of Nursing
333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512.305.7400
Fax: 512.305.7401
Website: www.bon.state.tx.us
Contact: Katherine Thomas, MN, RN, FAAN, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2000

Utah
Utah State Board of Nursing
Heber M. Wells Bldg., 4th Floor
160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone: 801.530.6628
Fax: 801.530.6511
Website: www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/nursing.html
Contact: Debra F. Hobbins, DNP, APRN, LSAC, CARN-AP, Bureau Manager
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2000

Virginia
Virginia Board of Nursing
Department of Health Professions
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4515
Fax: (804) 527-4455
Website: www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing
Contact: Jay Douglas, MSM, RN, CSAC, Executive Director
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2005

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing
Physical Address:
1400 E. Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53703
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708-8935
Phone: 608.266.2112
Fax: 608.261.7083
Website: http://drl.wi.gov/board_detail.asp?boardid=42&locid=0
Contact: Dan Williams, Bureau Director – Division of Board Services
Compact nursing license implemented 1/1/2000

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