Nurse Compact FAQs
Removing barriers to cross-border practice, the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is an interstate agreement allowing a nurse to have one license and the privilege to practice in other compact states. Implemented in 2000, the NLC fosters public protection and access to care through the mutual recognition of one state-based license that is enforced locally and recognized nationally. Along with a majority of state nurses associations, hospital associations and health care facilities in every state overwhelmingly support the NLC. The NLC includes important patient safety features such as facilitation of the sharing of licensure, investigative and disciplinary action information among member states. Since the NLC’s initial launch, advances in technology and an increasingly mobile nursing workforce and patient population have created the need to break down barriers to interstate practice. Access to care has expanded and telehealth has transformed care delivery and erased geographic boundaries. The NLC has the ability to remove the licensure barrier to telehealth practice for more than 4 million nurses.
Any nurse desiring to be certified as an advanced registered nurse practitioner shall apply to the department and submit proof that he or she holds a current license to practice professional nursing or holds an active multi-state license to practice professional nursing pursuant to Section 464.0095, FS.
The Board of Nursing will accept Livescan fingerprints completed within the previous 90 days of applying for the upgrade. If you have not had your fingerprints done and sent to the Board in the last 90 days, you will need to be fingerprinted.
The Nurse Practice Act, Section 464.0095, FS, talks about the requirements specific to the Nurse Licensure Compact. Please visit Chapter 464, Part I: Nurse Practice Act to see the statute.
The multi-state license application is separate from your renewal and has a one-time application fee of $100. This application can be completed online starting January 19, 2018. Once the application is complete and approved, you will be issued a new paper license with your same license number but it will indicate that you are now eligible to work anywhere within the Compact with the words “Multi-State Registered Nurse” printed on the license. The application review process may take up to 30 days. It is not mandatory that you obtain a multi-state license and completing this application will not renew and update the expiration date on your license. A licensee renews the single state or multi-state license which is held at the time of a biennial renewal.
“Multi-State license” means a license issued by the Florida Department of Health to practice as a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in all Nurse Licensure Compact states under a multi-state licensure privilege.
“Single-State license” means a license issued by the Florida Department of Health to practice as a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) within the state of Florida and which does not include a multi-state licensure privilege to practice in any other Nurse Licensure Compact state.
Florida is a member of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). The eNLC allows a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse licensed in a Compact state to practice across state lines in another Compact state without having to obtain a license in the other state. It is important to remember that the eNLC requires nurses to adhere to the nursing practice laws and rules of the state in which he/she practices under his/her Compact license. If a nurse moves from one state to another and establishes residency, the nurse must apply for licensure in that state. Please visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website (www.ncsbn.org) for a list of states that have implemented the Compact. If a party state issues a temporary permit or temporary license to an endorsee, that permit or license shall confer the same rights and privileges of nursing practice as does the permanent license among party states. Nursys will not track temporary licenses and employer must verify licensure directly from the state issuing the temporary permit/license. For more information provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing about the eNLC click https://www.ncsbn.org/94.htm.
Beginning January 19, 2018, Florida will issue a multi-state license to new applicants if all requirements for compact licensure are met. Existing Florida RNs and LPNs will have the option to apply to convert their current licenses to multi-state licenses as of January 19th as well.
The states that are part of the eNLC are not exactly the same as the original NLC. If you have an eNLC multistate license, you can only practice in those designated eNLC states. You will need a single state license issued by every other state in which you plan to practice to continue to deliver care in each of those states. Click here to view a map showing up to date eNLC membership information.
Once the eNLC is effective, your nurses will now be able to practice (in person or by telehealth) in other eNLC states with just one license obtained in their state of residence. Faculty and military spouses will just need one license to teach or practice across states in the eNLC. The eNLC is only for registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs/VNs), not for advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs).
For more information provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing about the eNLC click https://www.ncsbn.org/NLCA_Employers_Fact_Sheet.
The compact gives nurses the ability to practice in multiple states with one license and reduces regulatory requirements by removing the necessity for obtaining a license in each state.
Your declared state of residency is your primary state of residence where your permanent and principal home is located. Proof of your primary state of residence can be found on the following documentation:
- A driver’s license with a home address
- Voter registration card displaying a home address
- Federal income tax return declaring the primary state of residence
- W2 from US Government or any bureau, division or agency thereof indicating the
declared state of residence
Florida RNs and LPNs will be able to start applying on January 19th to convert to a multi-state
license and must meet the following requirements.
- Have a current, Clear, Active license
- Graduated from a qualifying education program (or graduated from a foreign program verified by independent credentials review agency)
- Pass the NCLEX exam
- Have no active discipline on a license
- Submit to a federal criminal background check
- Have no felony conviction
- Not currently enrolled in an alternative to discipline program (i.e. IPN)
- Have a valid U. S. Social Security number
- Moving between 2 party states- obtain license from the new home state; license from the former home state is no longer valid.
- Moving from a nonparty state to a party state- obtain license from the new home state; license from the non-compact state is not affected and remains in full force.
- Moving from a party state to a nonparty state- license issued by the prior home state converts to a single state license “valid only in___”.
The eNLC is only for RN and LPN licenses.