States that can transfer a nursing license from California include all other 49 states in addition to Guam and Puerto Rico. This professional courtesy is known as reciprocity and is common among all U.S. states. Because of reciprocity, nurses are not required to pass the the National Council Licensure Examination repeatedly to obtain licenses for different states.
Licensure By Endorsement
The reciprocity U.S. states offer each other in regard to nursing is known as licensure by endorsement" The arrangement allows for a nurse to obtain a license to practice in another state without having to retake the nursing examination. A nurse's home state is where he graduated from school and passed his licensure exams. The home state vouches as to the educational and character background of the nurse to other states where the nurse seeks to work. A nurse must complete an application for licensure by endorsement, pay a fee and complete a background check as stipulated by the state he wishes to practice in. In some cases, the new state has additional requirements such as completion of online courses on child abuse or infection control. Other states require an applicant nurse submit a notarized offer of employment from a facility in their state. The nursing board in the state where you seek to work will provide you with all the requirements.
Some states have joined together to form the Nurse Licensure Compact agreement and are known as NLC States. These 24 states have agreed to allow
mutual recognition of a nurse's license. This allows a nurse to have one license in his state of residency and to practice in other member states subject to each state's practice law and regulation. California is not a member of the NLC States and you will therefore have to transfer your license by endorsement to other states.
The remaining 26 noncompact states allow for reciprocity, but a nurse must have a license specific to practice in any noncompact state. This will require an application for licensure by endorsement and completion of any of the new state board's regulations and provision of all of the requested documentation. If the state you seek to practice in is a compact state, you will still be required to obtain a separate license because of California's absence from the compact.
One of the types of documentation that must be completed during this process is verifying to your new state that your license is current and in good standing with your home state. If your home state and the state you seek to work in are members of NurSys, you can have your license verified online for a small fee. If not, you will need to obtain the new state's verification form, complete all requested information, have the form notarized and return it with your application for verification by mail. California does not participate in the NurSys program as of May 2011.
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