The Nurse Licensure Compact, a multi-state agreement enabling nurses the authority to practice in other states, has gained massive support in 2021 as 15 states introduced legislation to join the compact, according to a recently released annual report by the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators.
As of April 18th, 2022, 35 member states have joined and fully implemented multi-state licensure through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) agreement, including Florida. In addition, Guam is expecting to fully implement all NLC regulations later in 2022, while Pennsylvania, Ohio and the Virgin Islands have all passed legislation to join the NLC but do not plan to begin implementation until after 2022. Illinois, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhoad Island are all pending the approval of enactment efforts in their state’s legislative bodies.
Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) benefits
The NLC allows licensed practical nurses (PN) and registered nurses (RN) to practice in other NLC states without obtaining additional licenses. These healthcare providers can also practice via telenursing in all other NLC states and provide nursing services during disasters across state lines.
These benefits ease healthcare staffing shortages across the nation as the pandemic has led to a significantly high turnover in practical nurses and registered nurses nationwide. At the same time, it reduces the time and expense of applying for multiple single-state licenses and meeting continuing education requirements from different states. The NLC significantly expands a nurse’s practice options and shortens the time to start practicing in another Compact state. The NLC has been operational and successful for more than 18 years and continues to grow each year with the addition of new states. Therefore, newly graduated PNs getting their first license in an NLC state will be able to apply for an enhanced nurse licensure compact license (eNLC) when registering with the state’s nursing board.
Florida PN license requirements
To register as an PN in Florida, nurses must meet one of the following requirements:
- Graduation from a Florida-approved / accredited nursing education program.
- Graduation from an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited nursing program issued an NCLEX code by NCSBN.
- Graduation from a non-NCSBN jurisdiction, i.e., Puerto Rico, or an international nursing education program that the board determines to be equivalent to an approved program (NON-NCSBN/International Grads)
NLC multi-state PN license requirements
The NLC has the following requirements for any applicant seeking multi-state licensure as an PN or RN:
- Meets the requirements for licensure in the home state (state of residency);
- a. Has graduated from a board-approved education program; or b. Has graduated from an international education program (approved by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable country and verified by an independent credentials review agency);
- Has passed an English proficiency examination (applies to graduates of an international education program not taught in English or if English is not the individual’s native language);
- Has passed an NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® Examination or predecessor exam;
- Is eligible for or holds an active, unencumbered license (i.e., without active discipline);
- Has submitted to state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks;
- Has not been convicted or found guilty or has entered into an agreed disposition of a felony offense under applicable state or federal criminal law;
- Has no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing (determined on a case-by-case basis);
- Is not currently a participant in an alternative program;
- Is required to self-disclose current participation in an alternative program; and
- Has a valid United States Social Security number.
After completing the Medical Institute of Palm Beach’s (MIPB) practical nursing program, students will become eligible to apply to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nursing (NCLEX-PN). We have successfully helped students apply, study and pass the NCLEX-PN and their home state’s board of nursing licensure exam.
After completing MIPB’s practical nurse program and obtaining their multi-state license, students will be eligible to practice in the following states:
- Louisiana (Registered Nurse and Practical Nurse)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Ohio (Law passed. Implementation date 1/1/2023)
- Pennsylvania (Law passed and awaiting implementation)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands (Law passed and awaiting implementation)
- West Virginia (Registered Nurse and Practical Nurse)
It is important to note that nurses must be licensed or have the privilege to practice in the state where the patient is located when nursing service is provided. A multi-state license is not a national license. It is a state license issued by the Nursing Regulatory body in the student’s primary state of residence, the state in which they legally reside and can prove legal residence with a driver’s license, voter registration, or similar documentation.