What Does it Mean to have a Nurse License Compact (NLC)?

By: Dakota Behrman

Whether you are a seasoned travel nurse or a beginner with aspirations to explore the country and help communities, understanding where you stand in terms of eligibility is paramount. Travel nursing means moving from state to state, assisting a variety of populations along the way. To become a travel nurse, it’s essential to understand the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). Simply put, the NLC is a pact between states which allows a licensed nurse in one state to practice in any state who is also in the pact. This increases nurses’ mobility to practice as well as allows for increased access to medical help for patients. This agreement, which formed in the 90s and finalized at the start of the new millennium, has become a bedrock foundation that allows travel nursing to thrive, and states continue to enact legislation to join.

Think of a compact license, also commonly referred to as a multistate license, as a driver’s license. Just as having a Texas driver’s license allows you to operate a vehicle in Kansas, having a Texas compact nursing license will allow you to practice in Kansas. Currently, there are 38 states which are part of the NLC. Nurses must meet the licensure criteria of their home state to obtain and retain multistate licensure recognition (MSR) privileges on their home state nursing license. Keep in mind, if you must move states, you will have to reapply for licensure, establishing a new home state nursing license. The home state license dictates if one can practice in other states which are part of the NLC. Licensing standards are aligned in NLC states so all nurses applying for a multistate license are required to meet the same standards, which include a federal and state criminal background check.

Having a compact license will open a wide range of opportunities to work with Krucial Staffing. When states are not in a state of emergency, the option to use your home state license in another state will not be available. Contracts will require the ability to practice in that specific state without the need for an emergency exception.

Unfortunately, if you live in a non-compact state, you cannot apply for a compact license. You would instead have to get a single state license for the state you are traveling to. If you are unsure if your license is single-state or multistate, use Quick Confirm at www.nursys.com at no cost to check.

If you plan to deploy with Krucial Rapid Response with either your state or compact license, please email credentials@krucialrr.org  to ensure we have it on file. Any questions regarding other documents needed to be eligible for emergency or contract assignments, please call Krucial’s mainline at 888-222-6359.  

Krucial Rapid Response specializes in high volume rapid response emergency response staffing, driven by a mission to serve others in their greatest time of need. To learn more visit krucialrr.org/services

Interested in contributing to the Krucial Kollective? Send us an e-mail at marketing@krucialrr.org  and let us know what you would like to write!

"...the NLC is a pact between states which allows a licensed nurse in one state to practice in any state who is also in the pact. "

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