The Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) is an agreement between multiple states that allows for nurses to have a license in one state and practice nursing in others. It is not a national agreement; each individual state has to agree to be a part of it. This generally takes legislative action. So far, 37 states throughout the country have agreed to partake in this program. They include Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Virginia.
It is important to note that this is an increase in the number of NLC states since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Some states, including New York, continue to resist this licensure process, but others that were hesitant in the beginning, such as California and Washington, are moving forward and have pending legislation as of last month. The need for increased medical professionals during the pandemic may have played a role in this increase as the NLC is beneficial for nurses, hospital systems and patients. This is because it provides a streamlined process for qualified nurses to find positions that are a good fit.
What about New Jersey?
New Jersey lawmakers have signed the NLC into law but have yet to implement it. At this time, state officials are allowing nurses who have active NLCs with member states to practice but have yet to set a date for when they will officially implement their own NLC law.
Is New York planning to become a part of this program?
At this time, it does not appear New York will partake in the program in the near future. However, nurses who have met the requirements that would fulfill the NLC have likely met most of the requirements to get licensure within New York.