May 2, 2018
Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) was created in 1997 and was implemented in the year 2000. The main goal of the NLC is to broaden the availability of nursing services across state lines. Only four states were part of the original NLC: Rhode Island, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. These states had agreements with one another so that a nurse in one state could practice nursing in another state that was also a member of the NLC and not have to obtain additional licensure or certification for that state. Once the NLC was implemented in four states, several other states jumped on board and joined the NLC. Unfortunately, not all states agreed with the concept of the NLC and some states chose not to participate.
Times are changing and more states are starting to realize the benefits of enacting and implementing the NLC. The NLC has been transformed into the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, also known as the eNLC. The eNLC is similar to the original Nurse Licensure Compact, but with added protections to help address concerns that some states had regarding the original NLC. Nurses who had a previous multistate license under the original NLC will be grandfathered in to the eNLC and will be able to practice in states that have successfully implemented the eNLC.
The eNLC is a great thing for employers, nurses, and anyone needing healthcare. Some states, such as Kansas, had previously been against the NLC. But is now signing up to become a part of the eNLC. The eNLC is expected to be officially implemented in Kansas on July 1, 2019.
Some state boards of nursing were against implementing the NLC because they were concerned about:
The eNLC addresses the previous concerns held by many states by offering a national nurse licensure database complete with disciplinary action information from all states. The eNLC also requires all states that are members to conduct federal criminal background checks on all nurses applying for a multi-state license. The current state licensing requirements are still applicable and nurses seeking a multi-state license must comply with the same state requirements that single-state nurses are subjected to.
The answer should be nothing, but it’s not that simple. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and vocational nurses residing in Missouri are eligible to apply for a multi-state nursing license. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and vocational nurses residing in Kansas are currently unable to obtain a multi-state nursing license. However, licensed nurses in Kansas will be eligible to apply for multi-state licenses beginning in July of 2019.
It is important to understand the difference between a single-state nursing license and a multi-state nursing license. A nurse who has been granted a multi-state nursing license is able to practice nursing in the state where the license was obtained and in other states that have adopted the Nurse Licensure Compact. A nurse who possesses a single-state nursing license is only eligible to practice nursing in the state where the license was obtained. If a nurse with a single-state license needs to practice nursing in another state, the nurse will be required to obtain an additional nursing license for that specific state.
Currently, no. The nurse will only be able to practice in states that have implemented the NLC or eNLC. If they wish to practice in a state outside of the NLC/eNLC, the nurse will have to apply for licensure in that state, even if the state the nurse resides in is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact or Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact.
Currently, no. Nurses residing in states that have not enacted and implemented the Nurse Licensure Compact are currently unable to apply for a multi-state nursing license. For example, a nurse who is licensed in Kansas is currently not eligible for a multi-state license and cannot practice nursing in another state without obtaining an additional license for that state.
Currently, no. The nurse must apply for a multi-state nursing license and comply with all requirements. It is possible for a nurse residing in a state that allows multi-state nursing licenses to only possess a single-state nursing license.
Telenursing refers to nursing services delivered by a nurse to a patient via electronic means, such as through a mobile application, instead of providing nursing care at a physical location. Telenursing has grown in popularity over the last five years and growth in the field is expected to continue.
Telenursing across state lines requires a multi-state nursing license, even though the nurse is not physically present in the patient’s state while delivering care.
Kansas has enacted Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact legislation, but implementation is pending. This means that Kansas will eventually be a member of the eNLC, but the state will not be ready for official implementation of the program until July 1, 2019.
Twenty five other states implemented the eNLC on January 19, 2018, while nine states have pending legislation to enact the eNLC with implementation dates set for the future (such as Kansas).
Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut do not have pending legislation to enact the eNLC and it is unknown if these states will eventually agree to the eNLC.
There are positive changes taking place in the United States in order to broaden the availability of nursing services across state lines. Many states that had previously been against the Nurse Licensure Compact have already implemented the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact and more states are on the way. The eNLC addresses previous concerns held by states regarding disciplinary action by creating a national database for nursing licensure.
To learn more and to see updates regarding the eNLC, please click here.
You can also read more about the uniform licensure requirements that nurses must meet for a multistate license that are new to the eNLC by clicking here.
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