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Travel Nursing: Understanding Compact Licensure

Travel Nursing: Understanding Compact Licensure

C. Mike Emery, RN, CEO

How does Nursing Licensure Compact Affect Travel Nurses?

Nursing Licensure Compact allows a nurse to hold one nursing license and have the ability to work in all participating states (currently 23) under that one license. However, for a nurse to have multi-state practicing privileges, the nurse must reside in a compact state and hold a nursing license in that primary state. For example: Jane Doe, RN lives in Colorado. Colorado is her permanent residence. Jane Doe has declared Colorado as her home state. If need be, Jane can provide proof that Colorado is her home state with a livable address, driver’s license etc. Because Jane is a resident of a compact state, she can practice with her Colorado nursing license in any one of the compact states. This is considered multi-state practicing privileges.

If a nurse does not reside in a compact state, then multi-state privileges will not be allowed, without a separate license for each state. For example: Tina Noncompact, RN lives in Michigan, which is a state that does not participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact. Tina desires a temporary assignment in North Carolina so she must apply for and receive a North Carolina nursing license. We know that North Carolina is state that has implemented Nurse Licensure Compact. However, because Tina is not a primary resident in a compact state, her North Carolina license is good only in North Carolina. In other words, Tina can not practice in other compact states outside of North Carolina using her North Carolina license.

If a nurse permanently moves from one compact state to another, a license change must take place within 30 days. For example: Shelly Mover, RN lives in Maine which is a compact state. She moves from Maine to Texas, another compact state. Shelly has 30 days to obtain a Texas nursing license. Texas is now her declared primary state. In other words, nurses residing in compact states must declare one state as their primary residence and hold a license in that state. This is substantiated by proof of a livable address, driver’s license. Etc.

Please do not confuse having a permanent residence within a compact state the same as having a tax home. These are two separate issues that are often confused. If you would like further information on Tax Homes vs. Permanent Residence, Expedient Medstaff provides a free report on their company website. Just click Travel Nursing to go Expedient Medstaff’s website and request your free report.

Please remember to research and follow every state’s practice laws and regulations. Never overlook or take for granted the sometimes subtle variances in practice laws among the states.


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    dawncna96

    3 months ago

    2 comments

    I have question I been a certified can since 1996 and would like to if they have it do travel can. Not sure if they have that how can I find out. Any help to find out would appreciate it thanks

  • Me_and_matt_july_2009_max50

    AshlyRN

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    I am a resident and currently hold an RN license in a compact state. I am interested in moving to a state that has not yet instituted the Nursing Licensure Compact. Can I maintain my permanent address in my home state while I take residence in the non-NLC state, therefore holding two active licenses at once?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    dcm1245

    over 5 years ago

    8 comments

    when a nurse signs on with a travel agency, does that agency inform, assist, nurse in gathering all documents for each assignment?

  • Cmemerypicture_max50

    CoachM1ke

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments

    RNn94:
    Most hospitals prefer a traveler that can hit the floor running. What I mean by that is they want travelers with recent experience in their area of specialty. So, if you want to become a traveling nurse, I would recommend going back to the ICU and refreshing your skills. ICU travelers are in high demand. Best wishes for success in your career!

  • Cmemerypicture_max50

    CoachM1ke

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments

    struggling:
    It is rare to see LPN travels, but it does exist. Most LPN travel opportunities that I see are for long term care facilities that are part of a health system. To answer your last question, LPN's are needed and provide a valuable service. However, you are correct in your assessment that most hospitals prefer RN's. I wish you the best success in your career.

  • Cmemerypicture_max50

    CoachM1ke

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments

    ronnie722:
    To see the most current list of compact states, visit this website: http://www.ncsbn.org

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    RNn94

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I have 31 years of nursing experience; 17 years as a LPN and 8 years Critical care RN. I've been away from the hospital for 6 years. During that time I worked at a pediatric office and long term care. Now I would like to travel. Where do I start?

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    ronnie722

    about 6 years ago

    14 comments

    i would like to know if there are other states that have implemented this into there states that are not shown in this list of states . i live in new jersey and would like to know new jersey will be on this list or if they are on the list already . thank you R.McGowan New Jersey

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    struggling

    about 6 years ago

    8 comments

    lpn nurses are rarely mentioned for a traveling nurse, do Private duty nurses exist for traveling? And, why are lpn classes still held in schools when the hosps. rarely hire an lpn?

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