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New multi-state licensing compact encourages mobility for nurses

Mobility is a key element in maintaining job growth in America’s economy. When it comes to nursing, being able to travel to different locations using the same license is just as important. A number of state regulatory boards recognized this and created a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) so that nurses could provide their services across state lines while adhering to one set of rules and avoid redundancy among states.

As the methods and measures of care have evolved, the NLC needed updating in concert. Because of this, many NLC members will be a part of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). 

A number of changes will come as part of the eNLC. They include the ability for registered nurses (RNs), vocational nurses (VNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to have one multistate license. This will enable the ability to practice in multiple venues, whether in person or via telehealth services from the nurse’s home state. With more health care providers allowing screenings or checkups through virtual visits and telephone conferences, having updated rules and licensing designations simply made sense.

With the eNLC, 26 states will be members, including Texas. Four additional states, Colorado, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Rhode Island will join the new Compact once those states enact legislation allowing them to join. For nurses who currently hold NLC licenses, they will likely be grandfathered into the new eNLC once it becomes active next year. If a nurse who holds a multistate license wants to work in a state that did not adopt the NLC or the eNLC, he or she would have to apply for a single state license. 

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