List of Nurse License Compact StatesWhat are the states participating in the nurse compact licensure?

NurseTogether has confirmed that 25 states are part of the compact state nurse licensure (NLC).

Nurse Compact State License

A nurse with a permanent residency in a NLC state has a multistate nursing license and is eligible to work in other states that make up the "compact states." For a complete list of nursing jobs available in your state, visit our job search page.

 Compact Nursing States Map

Compact State Implementation Date
Arizona July 1, 2002
Arkansas July 1, 2000
Colorado October 1, 2007
Delaware July 1, 2000
Idaho July 1, 2000
Iowa July 1, 2000
Kentucky June 1, 2007
Maine July 1, 2007
Maryland July 1, 1999
Mississippi July 1, 2001
Missouri June 1, 2010
Montana October 1, 2015
Nebraska January 1, 2001
New Hampshire January 1, 2006
New Mexico January 1, 2004
North Carolina July 1, 2000
North Dakota January 1, 2004
Rhode Island July 1, 2008
South Carolina February 1, 2006
South Dakota January 1, 2001
Tennessee July 1, 2003
Texas January 1, 2000
Utah January 1, 2000
Virginia January 1, 2005
Wisconsin January 1, 2000

What is the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)?

Created in 2000 by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing (NCBSN), the Nurse Licensure Compact legislation allows nurses to operate either physically or electronically with a single license in participating states without having to go through the extra "red tape" of acquiring a new license. Initial legislation began in Maryland, Utah, Texas and Wisconsin and has since grown to a total of 25 states recognized as part of the NLC with additional states expected to adopt the legislation. The NLC applies to RN's, LPN's and LVN's.

How Nurse Licensure Compact Works?

Licensed nurses who reside in any of the 25 compact states are eligible to acquire a multistate license that enables them to practice in those participating states without the additional application processes and fees. For example, a licensed nurse who legally resides in North Carolina (a compact state) can easily transition for work in Virginia (a compact state) without applying for a separate license or additional fees. Nurses are still held accountable for full compliance of nurse practicing laws, rules and regualtions of the compact state for which they have transferred to. 

Additional Nurse Licensure Compact Facts

  • APRN's are not included in the NLC. A separate compact will begin in 2016
  • If you are moving from a Compact to a Non Compact state, you must apply for a license in the new state of residency
  • If you move from one Compact state to another Compact state, you must complete a declaration of primary residency within the new Compact state
  • Employers will need to verify that the nurses hold a multi-state license. Employers have easy access to online databases and nursing board websites to verify licensure in each state.


Souce: NCSBN website. For the most updated information, visit the National Council of State Board of Nursing.