Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

The Nurse Licensure Compact is an agreement that allows "mutual recognition" of a nursing license between member states in the United States of America. Enacted into law by the participating states, member states allow a nurse that resides in and possesses a current nursing license in a state that is a member of the NLC to practice in any of the other member states without obtaining additional licensure in that state. It applies to both Registered and Practical Nurses and is also referred to as a multi-state license.

 Historically in the U.S., regulation of health professionals has been a state-based function whereby each state or territory regulates the health care workforce within its geographic boundaries. Thus, health care professionals practicing within a state or territory are required to be licensed by the jurisdiction in which they practice. However,

with the soaring popularity of telecommunication and other technologies being used to deliver health care services, practice is no longer limited by geographical boundaries. Telephone triage, telehealth consultation, and air transport nursing are just a few examples of how nursing practice is crossing state lines, either physically or via telecommunications technologies.


In 1997, the National Council for State Boards for Nursing (NCSBN), a private association of state  regulatory agencies, proposed a mutual recognition model of nursing licensure, referred to as the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The Compact is an agreement between two or more states to coordinate activities associated with nurse licensure. Although nurses are not usually schooled in the legal implications of interstate compact administration, it is imperative that all nurses understand the implications a regulatory change, such as a mutual recognition model of nursing licensure, may have on consumers, nurses and the profession.   The Compact concept was first introduced at ANA's 1998 House of Delegates (HOD) and resulted in a resolution outlining fourteen issues the HOD believed must be addressed for ANA to support the Compact model. Delegates reaffirmed their beliefs at the 1999 ANA House. Dialogue between ANA and NCSBN continued. Ongoing monitoring of states' experience and dialogue between ANA and NCSBN have led to dissolution of some of ANA's original concerns. For specifics, reference ANA's talking points (2011)   While a nurse's license may be multi-state, permanent relocation to another Compact state requires obtaining licensure in the new state, as their residency has changed. Likewise, a license obtained in a Compact state that is not one's primary state of residence is not mutually recognized by the other NLC members.


   As of December 2011, there are twenty-four states participating in the Compact.[1] They are:  


  • Arizona  
  • Arkansas  
  • Colorado  
  • Delaware  
  • Idaho  
  • Iowa  
  • Kentucky  
  • Maine  
  • Maryland  
  • Mississippi  
  • Missouri  
  • Nebraska  
  • New Hampshire  
  • New Mexico  
  • North Carolina  
  • North Dakota  
  • Rhode Island  
  • South Carolina  
  • South Dakota  
  • Tennessee
  • Texas  
  • Utah  
  • Virginia  
  • Wisconsin
US NLC outline

Legislation has been introduced into several other states. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  

[edit] References   1.^ a b "Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)". National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-11-30.