Nurse Licensing and Licensing Info for Healthcare Travelers

As a healthcare traveler, you’ll obtain many different state licenses throughout your career and have many questions on nurse licensing. Some states are much easier to get licensure in than others, so you’ll want to plan ahead for assignments. Talk with your recruiter to create a game plan of where and when you’ll want to travel to different states.

Compact State Licenses

A Compact State License, aka the NLC – Nurse Licensure Compact, allows Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses to have nurse licensing in 38 different locations without having to obtain different licensure. In order to qualify for the NLC, you must claim residency in a participating state and apply through your state’s BON. Unfortunately, any RN or LPN who lives in a non-participating state may only be issued single-state licenses.

Click here for the NCSBN’s FAQ

eNLC Member States

An Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) state is a participating state in the compact state alliance, allowing any nurse who resides in one to practice in 38 states with nurse licensing. (8-26-21) To be eligible for the eNLC, you must have proof of residency in one of the compact states as well as a current RN license in that state.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

Colorado

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Guam (TBD)

Idaho

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New Jersey (TBD)

New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania (TBD)

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Temporary Licenses & Walk-Through States

When you hear the term “Walk-Through State” it refers to individual states that will issue a temporary nursing license by endorsement within a very short time frame. Temporary licenses work out great in the event you need to start your travel assignment soon, but the regular license may take too long to obtain. Temporary nurse licensing is typically valid for 30 days to six months, depending on the state. Many times, you will need to apply for a regular license as well since your travel assignment will more than likely last longer than 30 days.

Current “walk-through” states include:

  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont