How to Get a Nursing License for Multiple States

Some nurses are licensed to practice in several states.
Some nurses are licensed to practice in several states. (Image: Images)

Each state issues licenses for registered nurses who complete approved course work and pass an exam. The license is recognized by the state of issue exclusively, unless that state is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. The NLC is a multistate nursing organization that adheres to similar codes of practice for nurses. Each of the member states allows nurses from all other member states to practice temporarily with the NLC license. Registered nurses residing in NLC state are eligible for this multi-state license.

Things You'll Need

  • Nursing degree or diploma
  • Residence in an NLC state
  • Passing score on nursing license exam

Take the required course load at a hospital that issues a nursing diploma, at a community college for an associate's degree in nursing or a college or university to receive a bachelor of science in nursing degree. All three accreditations are acceptable for the state-administered registered nurses licensing exam.

Move to a state that is a member of the NLC if you do not already reside in one. Nurses must live in an NLC state to obtain the multi-state license. There were 24 NLC member states as of May 2011.

Take the state examination for registered nurses to obtain a license in your NLC state. Your passing score on the exam will grant you a multi-state nursing license that is recognized by all other states in the organization.

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