Being a travel nurse has its benefits, but even a multi-state nursing license only goes so far. 34* states currently participate in the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) program (see map below), though full national implementation is expected later this year (though no date has been announced).
Don’t miss out on a premium travel assignment for lack of the right license, use this handy travel nurse licensing guide from Freedom Healthcare Staffing to navigate the process. Use the map and links below to see the licensing requirements by state, prepare the necessary documentation, and know what tasks you’ll need to complete.
And if you are a Freedom nurse, please contact our team about reimbursement for any new nursing license you secure. Your licenses make it far easier for us to meet our clients’ needs, so we are more than happy to reimburse you.
* The map is subject to change depending on pending legislation and time to implementation.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How Do I Get eNLC Licensed?
Click on your home state on the map above to be taken to the website of your state board of nursing. There you will need to apply for a new license and select either the “eNLC Upgrade Application” or “Apply for a multistate license” option. You are eligible as long as you meet the requirements listed below.
Once you finish the application, you will need to complete the mandatory fingerprint and background check (instructions will be provided by the state). Unfortunately, there are often separate fees for the multistate license application and the fingerprint-based background check. Again, if you are a Freedom nurse, we will reimburse you for these fees.
Your application may take anywhere from several days to a couple of weeks to be reviewed, but once approved, a new multistate license will be sent to you.
The eNLC requires applicants to:
- Graduate from a board-approved education program
- Hold an active, unencumbered license
- Undergo a state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background check
- Pass an NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN Exam
- Meet the requirements for licensure in their original state of residency
- Pass an English proficiency exam (for international graduates)
- Have a valid United States social security number
- Disclose current participation in an alternative program (applicants are unable to participate in an alternative program)
- Not have any state or federal felony convictions, nor misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing
- Some states also require proof of residency such as a mailing address in-state, a copy of your driver’s license, federal income tax returns or voter registration card
You can read more about the licensing requirements here: Uniform Licensure Requirements (ULRs).
For other quirks and quibbles to be aware of, read our article on national nurse licensure.
Why Should I Get eNLC Licensed?
Holding membership in the eNLC will help ease your ability to work in other compliant states (32 as of 2020) through a streamlined process. Normally, there are application fees, fees for license verification and criminal background check fees for each license on top of the extended amount of processing time. If you are eNLC licensed, you can practice in multiple states through one multi-state/compact license, without the need to apply for additional RN/PN licenses of endorsement.
This is especially important for rapid response assignments—high paying, short commitment travel jobs—that fill quickly, a speciality of Freedom Healthcare Staffing. The eNLC license allows you to apply immediately, increasing your chances of getting hired. Check out all the benefits at nursecompact.com.
Can I Help Get A State to Become eNLC Compliant?
Of course! If your state or a state you want to travel to is not currently an eNLC participating member, you can take action by sending a message to the governor, state senator or state representative. Send them a message.
What Does This Mean for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)?
The APRN compact is unfortunately not in effect at this time. Any APRNs and physician assistants (PAs) wanting to practice their full scope of work will need to get their advanced practitioner licenses in both compact and non-compact states where they want to work.
Tips to Getting the License You Need
- Apply ASAP. The sooner you apply for the eNLC, the more time you have to take care of delays. Expect delays!
- Verify Your Active Nurse License. Either use Nursys or contact your state Board of Nursing. See where you can work by using these instructions.
- Always Use Official Transcripts. Non-official transcripts will not be processed. Order official transcripts from your institution/program sooner rather than later.
- Keep Your Documents Organized. Have all your documents in a single folder for ease of access. Dropbox is a great way to store your nursing documents, so they’re secure and always accessible. See the Uniform Licensure Requirements.
See other NLC FAQs and our Nurse Licensing Requirements Guide for everything you need to get licensed in multiple states!
And don’t forget, if you are employed as a Freedom Healthcare Staffing nurse, advanced practice provider or allied professional, please contact us to discuss reimbursement for any new license or certification you secure.