Which US jurisdictions have not entered the Nurse Licensure Compact?

While Washington was the 40th U.S. jurisdiction to enact the Nurse Licensure Compact, which it did in April, 15 states and jurisdictions have not yet joined.

Seven states have pending NLC legislation while five states and three other jurisdictions — including Washington, D.C. — are not currently considering multistate nursing licenses.

States and U.S. territories that have joined the NLC allow registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and vocational nurses to obtain a multistate license, which permits them to practice in person or via telehealth in all NLC states.

States with pending NLC legislation: Alaska, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island.

States and jurisdictions without pending NLC legislation: American Samoa, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Mariana Islands, Nevada and Oregon.

The NLC is being viewed by the nursing community as one way to offset the current nursing workforce shortage because nurses with multistate licenses can use their skills and credentials beyond their home state borders. 

Becker's spoke with Nicole Livanos, director of state affairs at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, about the effects of Washington enacting the NLC and what it means for the future of the nursing workforce. 

"We are encouraged by the enactment in Washington and believe it will be a motivator for states in the region and across the country to enact this important legislation," Ms. Livanos said. "Joining the NLC will allow Washington to have a safe and ready workforce to call upon to better meet their workforce needs while also offering a modern licensure solution for Washington nurses."

The council said the NLC "removes burdensome expenses for organizations that employ nurses, enables nurses to practice in-person or provide telenursing services to patients across the country without obtaining additional licenses and facilitates online nursing education."

Moreover, in case of a disaster, more nurses will be able to respond when an all-hands-on-deck approach to healthcare is needed. 

"The compact enhances public protection, access to care and nurse mobility and serves as a tool in the toolbox for addressing the workforce shortage, which will aid in addressing the reported burnout in the 2022 Workforce Study," Ms. Livanos said.


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