What is a Compact Nursing License?

A compact nursing license is a type of nursing license that allows you to use a single license to practice in any state which is a part of the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact) without additional fees. Holding a compact nursing license lets RNs and LPN/LVNs freely practice within any of the participating states.


As of January 19th, 2018, states from the original compact entered in to a new agreement. This included the addition of five new states to the compact, now called the eNLC. Read a complete update of the 2018 compact license changes.


Why was the compact nursing license created

Compact nursing license
Created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the compact nursing license agreement helps the participating states broaden their healthcare staffing options. Nurses from other compact states can easily live or work in their area, and vice versa. This has helped make many more travel nursing opportunities available by removing regulatory obstacles.

How to get your compact nursing license

If the state where you live is a compact state, your nursing license automatically becomes a multistate or compact nursing license. This allows you to practice in any participating or compact state. Eligibility for a compact nursing license is based upon your primary residence, which is the address on your federal tax return.

If your primary residence isn’t in a compact state, you are not eligible for a compact nursing license. However you can still practice in a compact state by obtaining a nursing license valid only in that individual state.

More compact nursing license detailsSearch Jobs

  • A compact nursing license allows you to freely practice both in your home state and in any of the participating states
  • As long as continue to reside in a compact state and have your compact license, there is no time limit on how long you may work in any other compact state
  • As always, nurses are expected to comply with the provisions of the Nurse Practice Act for each state in which they practice and to keep their licenses in good standing
  • RNs and LPNs / LVNs are included in the compact nursing license agreement—APRNs have their own separate agreement, called the APRN Compact

If you are a nurse who is interested in travel and would like to know more about compact licensing, contact us today!

Compact nursing license resources

National Council of State Boards of Nursing
About the Licensure Compact
Member States and New Developments

Apply nowWhether you’re just getting started or you’re an experienced traveler, trustaff’s team of career specialists are always at the ready to help you become the most successful traveling nurse you can become! Contact us at 877-880-0346 or apply online today.


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