Multi-State Licensure
(The Compact is for RN's and LPN's only and does not include Advance Practice Nurses)

The mutual recognition model of nurse licensure allows a nurse to have one license (in his or her state of residency) and to practice in other states (both physical and electronic), subject to each state's practice law and regulation. Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted.

In order to achieve mutual recognition, each state must enact legislation authorizing the Nurse Licensure Compact. States entering the compact also adopt administrative rules and regulations for implementation of the compact.

Once the compact is enacted, each compact state designates a Nurse Licensure Compact Administrator to facilitate the exchange of information between the states relating to compact nurse licensure and regulation.  On January 10, 2000, the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (NLCA)  were organized to protect the public's health and safety by promoting compliance with the laws governing the practice of nursing in each party state through the mutual recognition of party state licenses.

Since 1998, the compact has included registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical or vocational nurses (LPN/VNs). On August 16, 2002, the NCSBN Delegate Assembly approved the adoption of model language for a licensure compact for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Only those states that have adopted the RN and LPN/VN Nurse Licensure Compact may implement a compact for APRNs. Implementation progress for the APRN Compact will be addressed during the upcoming year.

For more information or a list of compact states go to www.ncsbn.org.

Frequently Asked Questions