Licensing News: Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact
In a continuing effort to promote a nurse’s ability to have mobility in providing care across state borders, in 2015, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) introduced the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). This “new” compact expands upon the original Nurse Licensure Compact allowing registered nurses, licensed practical/vocational nurses to maintain a single multistate license and provide care in their home state and any of the other 25 NLC states.
With the eNLC, nurses will be able to provide telehealth nursing services to patients throughout the country without having to obtain additional licenses. Another little-considered reason for the necessity of having all 50 states participate in the eNLC is that in times of crisis or natural disaster, nursing professionals should have the ability to respond promptly and provide critical care services to those in need.
The eNLC will be in effect as of December 31, 2018, OR as soon as 26 states pass the eNLC legislation. Any of the 25 states that are currently participating in the existing NLC must enact legislation to adopt the eNLC, although all current multi-state licenses will remain in effect while each state goes through the process of determining their approach to the new eNLC legislation. As of this month, ten states have already enacted the eNLC legislation, while ten other states have eNLC legislation pending. There are also ten current NLC states that have yet to move forward in enacting the new legislation. To find out where your state is in the process, visit the Nurse Licensure Compact website. You can also participate in the process by urging your state legislator to take action on any pending legislation.
While the various state legislators determine their course of action with eNLC, you don’t have to wait to acquire a multi-state license. Here are the eligibility requirements for obtaining a compact license.
- First and foremost, you must legally reside in a current NLC state.
- You must be holding an active RN or LPN/VN nursing license in good standing. Unfortunately, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) are not included in the current compact.
- Make a declaration that your primary state of residence is a current NLC state.
- You must meet the licensing requirements in your home state. However, when working in a compact state away from your home, nurses are held accountable for the practices of the state where the patient is located.
NOTE: Because license renewal cycles are different from state to state, it is your responsibility to keep your license current. If you move from your home state, you are required to make the declaration of your new home state promptly, and not wait for your old home state license to lapse.
For additional information about keeping your license current, visit our post Keys to Keeping Your Licensing in Order.
Do you have any tips for keeping your licensure up to date? Are you considering getting a compact license or are you in a state that doesn’t participate yet? Tell us about your experiences with licensing in the comment section below. The information you share with us may be helpful to others who are new to the field or are currently going through the process. You can also join the discussion on our Facebook page.