A compact nursing license is a multi-state nursing license that allows nurses to practice in all states that have adopted the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC is an agreement between member states to recognize each other’s nursing licenses.

Benefits of a compact nursing license:

There are many benefits to having a compact nursing license, including:

    • Increased job opportunities: Nurses with compact licenses can apply for jobs in any NLC state without having to obtain an additional license. This can make it easier for nurses to find jobs in new locations or to travel for work.
    • Reduced costs: Nurses with compact licenses only need to pay one renewal fee and maintain one license. This can save nurses money, especially if they frequently move or travel for work.
    • Enhanced mobility: Nurses with compact licenses can easily move between NLC states without having to go through the licensure process all over again. This can be beneficial for nurses who want to move to a new state for personal or professional reasons.

 Which states currently accept compact nursing licenses?

As of October 2023, 41 states and two U.S. territories accept compact licenses:

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

Which states have pending legislation related to compact licensing?

Currently, seven states have pending legislation related to compact licensing:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New York


Which states have recently allowed for compact licensing?

The most recent states to allow for compact licensing are:

  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington
  • Rhode Island 
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

It is important to note that the specific requirements for obtaining a compact license vary from state to state. Our recruiters and staff are always up to date on any and all licensing requirements – reach out today with any questions!