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Your travel nurse license good in 29 states in 2018

travel nurse license - image of nurse enjoying a scenic bike ride in a new location

Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) Implementation is great news because it makes your travel nurse license a lot more portable. The idea that you should be able to work in multiple states under one license is gaining momentum across the country. So far, 29 states have passed eNLC legislation, and the updated compact went into effect on January 19, 2018.

What’s the main point of the eNLC? It balances better patient access to care with the need to protect the public at the state level.

To help you understand what’s changing from the original Nurse Licensure Compact and what you need to do, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing has put together an online list of questions and answers. Application details aren’t final yet, and may vary from state to state. Here’s how to stay informed:

  1. Visit the NCSBN website for important eNLC updates
  2. Contact your home state board for application specifics
  3. Get in touch with your RNnetwork credentialing team at 800-866-0407 for additional help

We’ve summarized a few answers to the most common questions here, and you can see the complete list on the NCSBN website.

Important travel nurse license facts about the eNLC

Q: How does the eNLC differ from the original NLC?

A: The eNLC adopts 11 uniform licensure requirements (ULRs) to qualify for a multistate license. A federal and state fingerprint-based criminal background check is one of the requirements. You can see a complete fact sheet here that highlights the differences between the two compacts.

Q: What is the eNLC implementation date?

A: The implementation date is January 19, 2018

Q: What happens to nurses in the original compact if their state does not pass eNLC legislation?

A: Rhode Island is an original compact state that has not yet joined the enhanced compact. They plan to introduce legislation in 2018 or sooner. States that don’t pass the eNLC will remain in the original NLC unless they withdraw from it, or the NLC ends due to having fewer than two remaining member states.

Q: Which nurses are “grandfathered” into the enhanced NLC and what does that mean?

A: Nurses in eNLC states that were members of the original NLC may be grandfathered into the enhanced compact. Nurses who held a multistate license prior to the eNLC effective date of July 20, 2017, in original NLC states, are automatically grandfathered and will not need to meet the requirements for an eNLC multistate license. Nurses issued a multistate license after July 20, 2017, will be required to meet the eNLC multistate license requirements.

Q: What’s the best way for nurses to get the latest eNLC updates?

A: You can sign up for email updates, visit your state board of nursing website, and review the eNLC implementation page.

What states will accept my compact license when I qualify?

These are the 29 states that have passed eNLC legislation. The original Nurse Licensure Compact will remain in effect in Rhode Island and Wisconsin until each of these states enacts eNLC legislation. Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont  have eNLC bills pending, so it’s possible that the list could be expanding soon.

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. Colorado*
  4. Delaware
  5. Florida*
  6. Georgia*
  7. Idaho
  8. Iowa
  9. Kentucky
  10. Maine
  11. Maryland
  12. Mississippi
  13. Missouri
  14. Montana
  15. Nebraska
  16. New Hampshire
  17. New Mexico*
  18. North Carolina
  19. North Dakota
  20. Oklahoma*
  21. South Carolina
  22. South Dakota
  23. Tennessee
  24. Texas
  25. Utah
  26. Virginia
  27. West Virginia
  28. Wisconsin*
  29. Wyoming*

* these states are new additions to the compact.

What does it all mean for me right now?

The short answer is that with additional states passing licensure compact legislation, more than half the country is potentially in reach with one home state license. As of January 19, 2018, getting a multi-state travel nurse license will open up even more travel possibilities. That doesn’t mean the bar will be lower – you still have to be great at what you do, with the documentation to prove it. What it does mean is that once you clear your home state licensing hurdles, there’s a process in place to practice in multiple compact states.

Imagine the new people, places, and experiences that are waiting for you out there. Whether you crave fulfilling new patient care opportunities, new friendships, or the chance to make off-time memories in new places, this is an industry trend that’s great for you. To stay connected with the latest eNLC updates, bookmark this page. If you need specific licensing help, your RNnetwork credentialing team is ready to assist you at 800-866-0407.




About the author

Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell is a content developer at RNnetwork and loves bringing people together with stories that make a difference. After hours, Tim is a book, movie, and music enthusiast and will seize just about any opportunity to travel.

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