ASBN - Nurse Licensure Compact
Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)
Historically, in 1999, the Arkansas Legislature passed the original Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and it was implemented in July 1, 2000. The Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) referred to as the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is an updated version of the previous NLC. The NLC allows for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) to have one multistate license, with the privilege to practice physically, electronically or telephonically in both their home state (Primary State of Residence) and other states that have joined the NLC.
The Arkansas legislature passed the new NLC at the 2017 General Assembly and this allowed the state to enter into the NLC. The official implementation date for the new NLC was January 19, 2018. There are new features in the provisions of the legislation of the NLC. Licensing standards are aligned in NLC states so all applicants for a multistate nursing license are required to meet the same standards. One of those requirements includes that in order to obtain a multistate license, new licensees must meet 11 uniform licensure requirements as identified here - Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License. So just because a nurse is licensed in an NLC state, it does not mean a multistate license was automatically issued. The nurse may just have a single state license. The status of a nursing license can be verified for participating states (Arkansas is a participating state) at www.nursys.com. If the original state of nurse licensure is not a Nursys® participant, contact the original state licensing board.
Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted. In order to achieve mutual recognition, each state must enact legislation authorizing the NLC. States entering the compact also adopt administrative rules and regulations for implementation of the compact.
Nurses must follow the laws and regulations of the state in which nursing practice occurs. In the case of electronic practice (telenursing), nurses must adhere to the practice standards of the state in which the client receives care. Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
Historically, in 2002, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Delegate Assembly approved the adoption of model language of a licensure compact for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Only those states that have adopted the RN and LPN/VN enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact may implement a compact for APRNs. On March 15, 2004, Utah became the first state to enter into the APRN Compact. Iowa followed in 2005. At this time no date has been set for the implementation of the APRN Compact.
APRNs are not issued a license under the NLC. The APRN must have an active Arkansas APRN license or a multistate license with the privilege to practice in Arkansas.
General Information about the NLC
- NLC Frequently Asked Questions - NCSBN
- Map of Participating States
- Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License
- Nurse Licensure Compact
- Arkansas Nurse Practice Act
- ASBN Rules
- ASBN Rules, Chapter 2, Section III - PDF
Did You Know?
- Nurses who had a current Arkansas multistate license prior to the new NLC effective date will be grandfathered into the NLC and no further action is needed on their part unless they change primary state of residence.
- Each nurse determines their home state or primary state of residence. Home state or primary state of residence, as defined in the compact, means “the person’s fixed permanent and principal home for legal purposes; domicile.” Proof of primary state of residence may be requested by the Board. Sources of proof include, but are not limited to, driver’s license, voter registration card or federal tax return.
- Nurses in new states that joined the NLC (Wyoming, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Georgia and Florida) will be able to practice in NLC states upon issuance of a multistate license.
- Nurses must follow the laws and regulations of the state in which nursing practice occurs. In the case of electronic practice (telenursing), nurses must adhere to the practice standards of the state in which the client is located.
- All new nurses declaring Arkansas as their primary state of residence will need to meet the NLC Uniform Licensure Requirements (ULR’s), refer to Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License. A nurse who does not qualify for the multistate license may still be issued a single state license.
- If an Arkansas nurse who was grandfathered into the NLC moves to another state that is a member of the NLC, the nurse will need to meet the URLs in the new primary state of residence.
- The states that are a part of the new NLC are not the same as in the original NLC, refer to Map of Participating States. Nurses who have an NLC multistate license, practice can only occur in those designated eNLC states.
- Nurses who are issued an Arkansas single state license and want to practice nursing physically, electronically or telephonically in ANY other state will need to obtain a license from each respective state(s).
- Just because a nurse is licensed in an NLC state, it does not mean that a multistate license was issued. The nurse may have a single state license. The status of a nursing license can be verified at for participating states, at www.nursys.com. If the original state of nurse licensure is not a Nursys® participant, contact the original state licensing board.
- Military personnel are governed by federal laws and regulations. The Nurse Licensure Compact does not supersede that law. Federal government employers usually accept a nursing license from any state. Nurses that choose to work outside a federal facility must hold a license in the state in which nursing practice occurs.
- Fact Sheet Licensure in Our State is Changing: Faculty and Students
- Federal/Military Nurses & Spouses
- Moving Scenarios
- New Grads
- Nurse Leaders
- NLC States
Resources for Important NLC Rule Changes