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Compact Nursing License

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A Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is beneficial for all nurses, not just travel nurses. Applying for a new nursing license in every state can get expensive and tiring. A compact nursing license can give you more freedom to move states and reduce the stress of applying for a single-state license.

How it works

If your primary state of residence is a compact state, you can apply for a compact nursing license, and this will allow you to work in any other state that is also a compact state. You cannot work in a noncompact state with a compact nursing license. However, there are 39 NLC states, so you will still have a large selection. To find out the requirements to obtain a compact license, please view this document that is provided by the NLC.

If you live in a noncompact state, you will not be able to receive a multi-state nursing license. However, you can get as many single-state nursing licenses as you would like. If you are unsure if you live or are traveling to a compact state, view the nurse licensure guidance on the NLC website.

Should you get a compact nursing license?

A compact nursing license is ideal for someone who has to travel. If you relocate due to being a travel nurse or other factors, a multi-state nursing license is cheaper and less timely than requesting a single-state license. Every state differs in price, but the cost to apply is from $100 to $400.

Even if you do not see yourself traveling, having a compact nursing license may open more opportunities than you did previously. It can be beneficial if you have an unexpected move, allowing you to be prepared to find a new job promptly with your multi-state license. It also opens you to the opportunity of telehealth. If you live in an NLC state, you can provide telehealth to patients in other states.

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