What Are the Compact Nursing License States? - Trusted Nurse Staffing 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

You’re ready to test the waters in a new state as a travel nurse to …

  • See the world
  • Meet new people; and
  • Build your resume

It’s possible more than ever now to be a travel nurse without having to get a new license in every state

But you’re wondering what states are included in the compact nursing license. 

We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide covering all things related to a compact nursing license.



Table of Contents




Which States Are in the Compact Nursing License Program?

Not all states are compact nursing license states. 

Below, we’ve outlined where each state currently stands on the Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).




States With Full eNLC Implementation

These states currently allow you to use your compact nursing license:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri 
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

States With Partial NLC/eNLC Implementation

A few states have eNLC considerations:

  • Guam
    • Allowing nurses who hold active, unencumbered, multi-state licenses issued by eNLC member states to practice in Guam under their multi-state licenses
  • Louisiana
    • Registered Nurse and Practical Nurse
  • New Jersey
    • Allowing nurses who hold active, unencumbered, multi-state licenses issued by eNLC member states to practice in New Jersey under their multi-state licenses 
  • West Virginia
    • Registered Nurse and Practical Nurse

For States With Partial eNLC Implementation – How Are Nurses Affected?

For Guam and New Jersey’s current regulations …

This means that nurses with active multi-state eNLC licenses can practice there. But it also means nurses with New Jersey or Guam as their primary state of residency can’t apply for a multi-state license until the eNLC is fully implemented. 

Implementation will be complete in late 2021 for New Jersey and 2022 for Guam.

States Awaiting eNLC Implementation

These are states that have enacted (but not yet implemented) the eNLC:

  • Ohio
    • Law passed and awaiting implementation date
  • Pennsylvania
    • Law passed and awaiting implementation date
  • Vermont
    • Implementation begins February 2022




Which States Are Not Part of the Nursing Compact?

The following states are not part of the eNLC and don’t currently have legislation:

  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • California 
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Mariana Islands
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Washington

Why Is There Resistance to the Nurse Licensure Compact in Some States?

Concerns from states resisting to join the eNLC at this time include:

  • Disciplinary actions under the eNLC
  • Growth of telemedicine and telenursing
  • Loss of state revenue from new single state licensees; and
  • Privacy of patients; and 
  • Maintaining state training 

One main concern among critics for the eNLC is that a national compact interferes with the oversight purposes of the state nursing boards regarding:

  • Vetting licensees
  • Tracking them; and
  • Coordinating disciplinary actions

Traditionally, each state had differing requirements about professional development for nurses. The compact currently doesn’t address a uniform policy for continuing education. This means that in some states, there may be little (or no) continued professional development. 

The eNLC does appear to be making changes to this as hesitant states express these concerns.

States That Are Not Part of the eNLC but Have Legislation

These states have begun legislation toward implementation to become compact nursing license states:

We’ve included links to the legislature bills so you can stay up-to-date on these states as they become compact nursing license states.

Compact Nursing License FAQs

What Is a Compact Nursing State?

Travel nurses love to travel. It’s a huge reason why you do what you do.

Before the Nursing Licensure Compact began, travel nurses had to be licensed in any state they wished to work in. 

The eNLC removes complications for travel nurses practicing in multiple states. It’s easier than ever to choose your next nursing location without as many hurdles to jump through.

Nurses from eNCL states can work across state lines without having to worry about applying for licensure in each state or being burdened by multiple renewal requirements and fees.




What Is the Importance of the Nurse Licensure Compact?

The eNCL isn’t just important for travel nurses. 

It has made it easier for many nurses to keep working as they move to different states. Military spouses who work as nurses especially benefit from compact nursing license states. 

The eNCL also benefits nurses and hospitals during times of great need, such as during:

  • Natural disasters
  • Large tragedies 
  • Nursing shortages; and 
  • Pandemics 

The eNLC also enables nurses to provide telehealth nursing services to patients across the country without having to obtain additional licenses.

When and Why Did the NLC Become the eNLC?

The NLC dates back to 2000. By 2010, it had grown to include 24 compact nursing license states. But between 2010 and 2015, only one additional state had joined. 

The main reason for the slowed growth was the lack of uniform criminal background check (CBC) requirements

The eNLC (enhanced NLC) took its place on January 19, 2018, with 29 member states. It required that all member states implement CBCs for all applicants upon initial licensure. This revision removes barriers to joining. 

The goal of the eNLC is to get all states to join.

How Do Compact Nursing License States Benefit Nurses?

The eNLC removes complications for nurses practicing in multiple states. 

With the eNLC, you’re able to work across state lines in any of the compact nursing license states — without having to worry about applying for licensure in each state




What Are the Requirements to Apply for the eNLC?

Are you ready to apply for the eNLC?

The eNCL has developed 11 uniform licensure requirements for an individual who is applying for a multistate license:

  1. Meets the requirements in their state of residency
  2. Has graduated from a board-approved education program or an approved international education program 
  3. Has passed an English proficiency exam (If English is not the native language or if the school taught in another language)
  4. Has passed an NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN examination or predecessor exam
  5. Is eligible for or holds an active, unencumbered license
  6. Has submitted to state and federal fingerprint-based background checks 
  7. Has no state or federal felony convictions 
  8. Has no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing 
  9. Is not currently a participant in an alternative program 
  10. Is required to self-disclose current participation in an alternative program 
  11. Has a valid U.S. Social Security number

How Do I Apply for a Compact State Nursing License?

As long as you meet the requirements, you’re ready to take the first step. Upgrading your current state license to a multistate license is fairly straightforward. 

Here’s how to apply:

  1. Visit your state board of nursing website. 
  2. Click on “apply for a new license.”
  3. Continue with an application if you meet the requirements above. The choices may be:

    • eNLC Upgrade Application; or
    • Apply for a multistate license
  4. Some states require proof of residency, such as a:
    • Driver’s license
    • Federal income tax return; or
    • Voter registration card 
  5. Complete fingerprint and background checks.
  6. Wait for your application to be reviewed. 
    • Can take several days to a couple of weeks

Note that nurses who held an original NLC license will be grandfathered into the eNLC.

At Trust Nurse Staffing, we reimburse you for any licensure that you get when you work with us as a travel nurse. Obtain your licensing with ease with us and get ready to begin your multistate adventures in any of the compact nursing license states.




Interested in Using Your eNLC to Be a Travel Nurse Within Compact Nursing License States? Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Help

Whether you’re looking to get started on your first travel nurse assignment, or you’re ready for a new adventure, Trusted Nurse Staffing can help guide you along the way. 

Our main objective is to help you reach your full potential as a travel nurse. 

Trust Nurse Staffing offers:

  • Reimbursement for any licensure (such as your eNLC)
  • Top pay rates
  • The best benefit packages in the industry

Join our family today and start your new travel nurse adventure.