How to Get a Multistate Nursing License or eNLC in 2024?

As a nurse, if you want to work across different states, you must go through a few steps. Firstly, you must apply for multistate licensure in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). This agreement between certain states allows nurses to have one license but work across state lines without needing separate licenses in each state. This post will discuss how nurses can apply for the NLC and other necessary requirements. 

What Is a Multistate Nursing License or Nurse License Compact [eNLC]?

A multistate nursing license or eNLC is a state-based nurse licensure system that expands the ability of nurses to practice in multiple states. The eNLC results from collaboration between participating member states and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). 

To become eligible for an eNLC, a nurse must meet all requirements set forth by each participating state, such as passing a criminal background check and completing any required continuing education courses. 

Upon obtaining an eNLC, a nurse is authorized to practice in any participating state without submitting additional applications or fees for each state. The eNLC allows nurses to quickly and easily expand their practice to multiple states if necessary, which can be especially beneficial for those providing medical care in remote regions of the country or during public health emergencies. 

Why Nurses Need Multistate Nursing License?

Nurses play a crucial role in providing quality patient care. To practice nursing across multiple states, nurses must hold a multistate nursing license. This license allows them to provide medical services and treatments throughout the United States without obtaining separate licenses for each state they plan on practicing in. 

Moving freely between states is especially beneficial for nurses looking to gain experience, explore different locations, and even take on temporary assignments in other states. With a multistate nursing license, they can do that without worrying about obtaining multiple licenses or navigating the long licensing process each time they wish to practice in another state. 

Some nurses, like travel nurses, float pool nurses, or contract nurses, may be required to hold a multistate nursing license. It’s so crucial for nurses to obtain this type of license. 

A multistate nursing license also makes it easier for employers to hire nurses from different states without worrying about licensing issues. However, it’s significant to note that some states may have additional regulations or requirements regarding multistate nursing licenses. 

How to Get a Multistate Nursing License?

The first step is to contact your state board of nursing and determine if they participate in the eNLC. Currently, 39 states have adopted the eNLC. 

If your state participates in the eNLC, you must finish an application and submit all required documents, such as evidence of a current license in good standing, proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence, and completion of a criminal background check.

Once you have submitted your application and fulfilled all other prerequisites set forth by your state board of nursing, you will be issued an eNLC allowing you to practice in any participating state. 

Additionally, depending on each state’s regulations, nurses may need to complete additional steps like obtaining a temporary permit or taking an exam to practice in certain jurisdictions. 

Nurses must stay up-to-date on all requirements set forth by the eNLC and their state board of nursing to ensure they comply with all applicable laws. 

Currently, 39 states have adopted the eNLC

  • •Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Virgin Islands
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

How Much does a Nursing License Cost?

The cost of a nursing license varies by state. Fees may include an application fee, criminal background check fees, and renewal fees. In general, obtaining a nursing license in the United States can take anywhere from $125 to $500. 

It is important to note that the eNLC does not cover any fees associated with obtaining or renewing a nursing license in each participating state. The eNLC streamlines applying for licenses in multiple states by eliminating the need to submit various applications. 

How Much Time does it Take to Get an eNLC?

The time it takes to obtain an eNLC varies by state. Generally, once all the required documents have been submitted, it may take anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the backlog of applications that the state board of nursing is processing. In a few states, it can take months to process an application. It is essential to contact your state board of nursing for the most up-to-date information on processing times. 

How do I renew my eNLC?

Once you have obtained an eNLC, you must renew it each year by submitting any necessary renewal forms and fees as instructed by your state board of nursing. It is essential to renew your license on time to avoid any lapses in coverage or penalties for late fees. Additionally, you may need proof of continuing education courses or other credentials to renew your license. Contact the Board of Nursing of your state for the most up-to-date information on renewing your license. 


Does a multistate nursing license expire?

Yes, multistate nursing licenses expire after a set period determined by each individual. It is essential to contact your state board of nursing for the most up-to-date information on processing times.   

Do I need to take an exam for the multistate nursing license?

The requirements vary by state and may require taking an additional exam. You must contact your state board of nursing for the latest information on fees and prerequisites..  

Can I have a CNA license in 2 states?

Yes, the eNLC allows nurses to hold a license in multiple states. However, it is vital to note that each state has its requirements for obtaining and renewing a nursing license, and you will have to meet all the needs to be eligible for an eNLC. 

When does eNLC expire?

The eNLC must be renewed every two years to remain valid. It is essential to contact your state board of nursing for the most up-to-date information on processing times and renewal requirements. 

Is az a compact nursing state?

Arizona is on the compact nursing list of 39 states. Being a licensed nurse from any Compact Nursing State allows you to work in any state listed in the list compact of nursing states without any additional license.

Final Words

Getting a multistate nursing license can be a lengthy process. Still, it is essential for nurses who wish to practice in multiple states and provide medical care in remote regions or during public health emergencies. Nurses who aspire to work across the country should contact their state board of nursing to determine the requirements and fees for obtaining an eNLC and stay up-to-date on any modifications or updates to the process to ensure they comply with all laws and regulations. 

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