How long does it take and what are the steps involved to obtain new state license?
It is important to understand upfront that each nursing state licensing board will be different based on their prerequisites and file preparation requirements – so when considering the application of a new license – realize that each provider’s current status will be different – and that time frames are just a general indicator and not always precise. Factors in this process include in many states such items as fingerprinting, background checks, verification of both educational and national certifications, and other supporting documentation. Below is a link that can assist you with further information regarding your state’s license process along with items you will generally need for completion.
- Educational Transcripts – Usually requires original copies
- State License Verification – Usually required for both active/inactive
- Completion of National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Completion of Criminal Background Check (varies by state)
- Prior disciplinary actions and practice privileges
- The associated cost for both application and licensure Fees
Nurse Licensure Compact States
The Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) provides nurses with the opportunity to have one active state license but the ability to practice in multiple states that participate in the agreement. The eNLC was designed to remove roadblocks for nurses that desire to practice in multiple states without the burden of additional state licensure applications, requirements for renewal and associated costs for fees. This program is an essential resource and tool for all nurses and healthcare facilities nationwide in the assistance of the ever-expanding healthcare provider shortage. Please see the above map for a full list of eNLC states.
Requirements for eNLC Multi-State License
To apply for a multi-state or compact nursing license – the following eligibility criteria and requirements must be met:
- Reside in an Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact state
- Establish an eNLC state as your primary state of residency;
- Be currently licensed as a registered nurse (RN) or licensed professional nurse (LPN) / licensed vocational nurse (LVN)
- Passed an NCLEX-RN examination or predecessor exam
- Eligible for or holds an active and unrestricted license
- Graduated from a board-approved education program or an international education program
- Have submitted to state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks
- Have no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing
- Have no state or federal felony convictions
- Not currently a participant in an alternative programs (or self-disclose if currently in an alternative program)
- Have a valid United States Social Security number