One License for 24 States

Multi State Privilege

  • If a Nurse has the License (RN) of one of the States that which is a member of “Compact States” she can work as a licensed Nurse (RN) in 24 states of the USA.
  • In January, 2000 those states founded Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (NLCA) under the supervision of NCSBN (National Council of State Board of Nursing).
  • Licensed Nurses (RN) who has the license (RN) of one of the abovementioned 24 states will be issued one more unified license (RN) “Compact States”.

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

  • The mutual recognition model of nurse licensure allows a nurse to have one license (in his or her state of residency) and to practice in other states (both physical and electronic), subject to each state's practice law and regulation. Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted.
  • In order to achieve mutual recognition, each state must enact legislation or regulation authorizing the Nurse Licensure Compact.
  • States entering the compact also adopt administrative rules and regulations for implementation of the compact.
  • Once the compact is enacted, each Compact State designates a Nurse Licensure Compact Administrator to facilitate the exchange of information between the states relating to compact nurse licensure and regulation. 
  • On January 10, 2000, the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (NLCA) were organized to protect the public's health and safety by promoting compliance with the laws governing the practice of nursing in each party state through the mutual recognition of party state licenses. 

Participating States in the Nurse Licensure Compact NLC

The following tables and map indicate which states have enacted the RN and LPN/LVN Nurse Licensure Compact implementation. 

Participating States in the NLC

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) States



























 New Hampshire


 New Mexico


 North Carolina


 North Dakota


 Rhode Island


 South Carolina


 South Dakota













Definition of terms in the Compact.

For the Purpose of the Compact:

  • "Board" means party state's regulatory body responsible for issuing nurse licenses.
  • "Information system" means the coordinated licensure information system.
  • "Primary state of residence" means the state of a person's declared fixed permanent and principal home for legal purposes; domicile.
  • "Public" means any individual or entity other than designated staff or representatives of party state Boards or the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
  • Other terms used in these rules are to be defined as in the Interstate Compact.

Issuance of a License by a Compact Party State.

For the purpose of this Compact:

  • As of July 1, 2005, no applicant for initial Licensure will be issued a Compact License granting a multi-state privilege to practice unless the applicant first obtains a passing score on the applicable NCLEX examination or its predecessor examination used for Licensure.
  • A nurse applying for a license in a home party state shall produce evidence of the nurse's primary state of residence.
  • Such evidence shall include a declaration signed by the licensee.
  • Further evidence that may be requested may include but is not limited to:
    1. driver's license with a home address
    2. voter registration card displaying a home address, or
    3. federal income tax return declaring the primary state of residence
  • A nurse changing primary State of Residence, from one party state to another party state, may continue to practice under the former home state license and multi-state licensure privilege during the processing of the nurse's licensure application in the new home state  for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.
  • The licensure application in the new home state of a nurse under pending investigation by the former home state shall be held in abeyance and the thirty-(30) day period shall be stayed until resolution of the pending investigation.
  • The former home state license shall no longer be valid upon the issuance of a new home state license.
  • If a decision is made by the new home state denying licensure, the new home state shall notify the former home state within ten (10) business days and the former home state may take action in accordance with that state's laws and rules.

Limitations on multi-state licensure privilege.

  • Home State Boards shall include in all licensure disciplinary orders and/or agreements that limit practice and/or require monitoring the requirement that the licensee subject to said order and/or agreement will agree to limit the licensee's practice to the home state during the pendency of the disciplinary order and/or agreement.
  • This requirement may, in the alternative, allow the nurse to practice in other party states with prior written authorization from both the home state and such other party state Boards.

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