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The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

Nurses in Arizona and Texas can get a nursing license that’s good for practicing nursing in other states. This can be beneficial as it allows for more job opportunities for the individual. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) allows for a recognition of nursing licenses between the states who are members of this compact in the United States. The NLC allows nurses to practice in more than one state without needing additional licenses.

Primary State of Residence

For a Compact license, a nurse is required to apply in the state that is the primary state of residence. The primary state of residence is all about the person’s legal residency status. This is shown by the driver’s license, the person’s voter’s card, and federal income tax returns. It does not have to do whether or not they own property in the state.

When Arizona is the primary residence and the nurse gets her nursing license, that license will be valid in other states that are members of the Nurse Licensure Compact. If the nurse obtained a  nursing license in a state that was not their primary state of residence, then that license would not be recognized in other Compact states. Having one license for all the states within the Nurse Licensure Compact (listed below) makes it so much easier and less burdensome and less costly than trying to obtain single state licenses in each state where the nurse wants to practice.

Compact License vs Multistate License

A Compact license and a multistate license are the same thing. It can get confusing as the terminology is often used interchangeably.

Length of Time Allowed to Practice in Another State

When a nurse has an Arizona nursing license and wants to go practice in another state, there is no time limit for their practice in the other state. As long as their legal residency remains in Arizona where the license was issued, and they remain in good standing, they can practice as long as they like in the other state.

However, if the nurse takes action which would change the legal residency, a new license must be applied for in their new home state. If the new residency state is on the list as part of NCL, then the nurse would still be able to have a multistate license.

An example is this: a nurse lives and has residency in Arizona, but goes to practice temporarily in Nebraska. She is there for five months, and her driver’s license expires. She doesn’t renew the
Arizona license but instead gets a Nebraska driver’s license. She has unwittingly changed her state of residence, even though she doesn’t intend to stay there. Nurses must be careful not to change their state of residency.

NCL States

Arizona is a Compact state. Note that the licensure requirements in each of the member states are aligned. With this the case, it is assured that all the other states have the same requirements and
this makes for ease of mobility for a nursing practice.

This is a list of all NCL states:

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

If you have questions about the nurse licensure compact (NLC) or about complications with you nursing license, contact an attorney at Chelle Law today.