Nurse Licensure Compact: What It Means for You

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When I was a senior in nursing school, I remember presenting a project in my “Nursing Scope” class. The presentation was about the “Nurse Licensure Compact, the NLC.” Side Note: Our presentation was on point. #lol #fyoumean. In my plans to transfer my license to the State of Texas, the Lone Star State, I felt this post couldn’t be more relevant. If you’re wondering what the NLC is, what it means for you, etc…. You’ve come to the right place! 

First of all, how did I stumble upon the idea of writing about this? So, I was paying rent online for the 20+ time, ever since I came here to California. And, my Lord have mercy, it was expensive! Here I am in this beautiful state, paying an arm and a leg, for things I don’t even use (like a pool and a fireplace… #boujee). Meanwhile, people in Texas are freaking living in 3+ bedrooms, for half of what I pay. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice here in California. But, let’s be smart.  

I then hovered over to the Texas Board of Nursing website. Turns out, from the time that I looked, it costs $186 to endorse your license over, from a different state. Mind you, this is cheaper than the cost to transfer into California (let’s not even get into wait times here either). And as a result, it got me thinking about the NLC again.

Need I remind everyone that nursing professionals are forever in demand; and increasingly so. With more and more push to socialize healthcare, making it more and more accessible to everyone, nurses in the workforce are forever limiting. Can you even imagine rural areas? Locations posted at the edge of the world, so to speak. The demand for accessible nurses in the workforce are needed there too. What about Telehealth corporations? Telehealth opens an in demand field of nurses offering their skills and expertise across state lines, through the interconnected matrix.         

Therefore, that’s where the Nurse Licensure Compact comes in. For the lack of a better way of putting it, the NLC is a standardized board of recognition. The NLC pretty much allows you to transfer (endorse/reciprocate) your license, to a different state, without having to pay further fees, take extra tests, etc. This goes for licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses alike. This means that if you have a license under a Compact state, you can just get up and go to another Compact state; and start looking for another job. No wait times. Don’t even get me started on the wait times for the California Board of Nursing. #sigh. Nevertheless, I’m sure that every type of professional licensing board has something similar to this. 

The PROS and CONS of the NLC

Some Pros…

1. Obviously an increase in the nursing workforce, across state lines.

2. For the nurse, it would inevitably lower endorsement fees. 

3. Standardize the workforce. 

Some Cons…

1. Federal involvement. There are still many unanswered questions, in regards to background/security check processes (fingerprinting) for individuals crossing state lines. The Huxtables in one state, while Bonnie and Clyde in another.  

2. For the State Board, increased implementation fees.  

3. Tort reform and litigation. Let’s say a nurse is practicing in two different states, at the same time. Then, the nurse gets sued in one state. What does that mean for the other?

4. Lowered standards across state lines. Hell, this is a debate all in itself. Though we have the NCLEX to standardize all nurses… curriculums at each school aren’t so similar. The implementation of the NLC would mean standardizing these credentials across state lines. Trust me…you’ll have people picketing outside the Capitol in a heart beat. 

5. The idea of Competition Migration. Sure… it’s easy to say that by implementing the NLC, it would increase the workforce pool of nurses. However, it’s still in the free will of the nurse to decide where he/she wants to practice right? The majority of folks would be flocking to California or Florida, for crying out loud. Let’s not forget to mention that money is a big competitive incentive, in the job market, to bring talent in. With that said, some states are just more wealthier than others. 

That’s just my take on it.       

How to Get Involved? 

It’s “Politics As Usual.”- Jay Z.




P.S. Shout out to my Nursing Scope presentation group! #werockedit


National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2016). Nurse Licensure Impact.. Retrieved from

National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2016). Nurse Licensure Compact: Five reasons to Endorse the NLC. Retrieved from

Ridenour, J. (2010). Nurse Licensure Compact: Sharing Realities.  Arizona State Board of Nursing Regulatory Journal. Retrieved from

Evans, S. (2015). The nurse licensure compact: A historical perspective.  Journal of Nursing Regulation, 6(3), 11-14.

Multi-state nursing licensure. (n.d.). Retrieved from PolicyMaker/IssuesAdvocacy/MultiStateLicensure/tabid/146/Default.aspx

Kempen, P. M. (2015). The interstate telemedicine compact and the agenda of the federation of state medical boards. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 20(2), 57-59.

Budden, J. S., Zhong, E. H., Moulton, P., & Cimiotti, J. P. (2013). Highlights of the national workforce survey of registered nurses. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 4(2), 5-14.

Wallis, L. (2015). The case for license portability. American Journal of Nursing, 115(9), 18-19.

Mascari, J. B., & Weber, J. (2013). Cacrep accreditation: A solution to license portability and counselor identity problems. Journal of Counseling & Development, 91, 15-25.

Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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