Is your Nursing License Valid in Other States?

The job of a travel nurse is exciting and dynamic.

A nurse signs a contract with the agency and gets a work assignment according to her specialty.

The average duration of the work assignment is from eight to thirteen weeks.

Sometimes, it can last longer if it is needed.

Nurses are allowed to practice in their state, outside the state, and some nurses can work even outside the USA.

Those who are interested in travel nursing have questions about licensing and practicing outside their state.

In some states, nurses don’t have to obtain a new license.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) created the agreement between states related to the licensing process.

The agreement is called Nurse Licensure Compact, and states involved with the agreement recognize nursing licenses from other states.

Because of it, nurses in compact states (part of the agreement) don’t have to obtain additional licenses when traveling to other states.

The process is simplified with the uniform licensure requirements.

Nurses must meet all criteria to obtain a multistate license according to the compact agreement.

You can find the complete list of all states involved in the Nurse Licensure Compact on the NCSBN website.

Nurses coming from the states that don’t participate in the compact agreement are allowed to obtain temporary nursing licenses.

These temporary nursing licenses are valid for a limited time.

Nurses interested in obtaining a temporary license should contact with state’s Board of Nursing to learn more about temporary license requirements.

All necessary information is available on the state’s Board of Nursing.

If the duration of the temporary licenses is shorter than the duration of the work assignment, a nurse must apply for a permanent license.

Because getting a temporary license takes time, nurses should start the process in advance.

If a nurse wants to travel and practice in the state which doesn’t participate in the compact agreement or doesn’t have a temporary license option, the nurse must apply for a permanent license in that state.

Obtaining a permanent license takes time, so the nurse must start the process as early as possible.

Also, the nurse should research if there are some additional requirements for licenses.

Some states require continuing education or recommendation letters.

All information can be found on each state’s Board of Nursing website.

Some travel nursing agencies offer assistance in licensing as well.

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One Comment

    I was US educated and passed NCLEX in the year 2007. I practiced for 5years in the US (Philadelphia, PA) with my RN license until 2013 when I left US to get a nursing job in Singapore. I have continued to practice nursing in Singapore from 2014 until May 2023 and now planning to go back to practice in the US. How can I renew my US RN license that has expired since 2015?

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