• Compact Licensure

    The compact, or multi-state, nursing license enables registered nurses to practice patient care in any state within the Nurse Licensure Compact agreement without having to pay for and obtain separate state licenses. 

    This mutual recognition between participating states has since been updated and is now referred to as the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Nurses whose primary state of residence is in a compact state are eligible to receive their compact license. Currently, more than half of the 50 states participate in the eNLC agreement – others have legislation pending.

    Compact State Map

    The map below shows which states participate in the eNLC and offers helpful information:

    • Scroll over any state to see expanded information about the state’s compact status and legislation details for pending states
    • You will be able to see the number of interim and permanent searches that became available in each state in 2018
    • By clicking on the state’s two-letter abbreviation, you will see our available jobs in that state opened in a new tab (make sure to click the “Search Jobs” button)
    • If you would like to see all available jobs located in any compact state, you may click the light blue “Compact” block next to the map (make sure to click the “Search Jobs” button)

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    I live in a non-compact state – how can I receive a compact license?
    Compact licenses are only available to nurses whose primary state of residence (PSOR) is in a compact state. If your PSOR is not a compact state, you will still be able to apply for single-state licenses that will only be valid in each individual state.

    What does “Primary State of Residence” mean?
    A person’s PSOR is the state in which they have selected as their legal residence. A person’s PSOR is typically the state they have listed on their legal documents such as their driver’s license, voter’s registration card, federal income tax return, military form no. 2058, or W2 form. Note that a person’s PSOR refers to more than just property ownership (you may own property in multiple states, but you only have one state as your PSOR). If you move to another compact state, be sure to apply for a compact license through the new state board of nursing as your previous compact license will no longer be valid.

    I have a license from my primary state of residence, which is a compact state. How do I ensure I have my compact license and not a single-state license?
    Typically, if you declared that state as your primary state of residence, the license you were issued should already be a multistate license if you are in good standing. If you are unsure about whether you have a compact or single-state license, you can always confirm by checking the Nursys website. If you need to change to a compact license, you can do so by contacting your state’s board of nursing.

    My state just passed legislation to become part of the Enhanced Nurse License Compact. When will my license change from single-state to multistate?
    Once your state officially starts being a compact license, you will be able to convert your single-state license to a compact license by contacting your state’s board of nursing. Typically, you are not able to apply for a compact license before the predetermined implementation date.

    How long does it take to get an individual state license?
    The length of time to receive a license after submitting an application varies by state. Some of the states with the longest processing times include Alaska (8 weeks), California (3-6 months), Illinois (6-8 weeks), Maryland (10 weeks), New Jersey (6-8 weeks), New York (6-8 weeks), and Ohio (4-6 months).

    What is a walk-through state?
    Walk-through states allow a registered nurse to be issued a temporary state license within a relatively short period of time. Typically walk-through states are able to issue these temporary licenses within just a couple hours. Current walk-through states include: Arizona, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Vermont.

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