License for compact states

  1. Can someone explain how licensing works if you work in two different states? I live in Nebraska but I want to work full time in Iowa and part time in Nebraska. They are both compact states but I don't exactly know how that affects my situation.
    Do I need to get an Iowa license or Nebraska? I can't have both, can I?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   BookwormRN
    Hi- I just looked on my state website (I live in a compact state as well). You will hold a license in the state in which you reside; this will allow you to work in that state, as well as in any other compact state. Remember, you are governed by the BON in the state in which you are working at the time....be familiar with their Nurse Practice Act.

    No, you cannot hold licenses in both Iowa and Nebraska.
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    as I understand compact license they are for people who reside in one state but work in another just across the border. You may have an easier option of endorsing your license to Iowa and maintain your license in Nebraska. You can have a license in as many states as you want which is what some travel nurses do and I initially received license in NY and endorsed to AZ with no problems and 2 licenses
  5. by   purplemania
    If states are compact you have to declare the state of permanent residence. Then you are granted licensure in both states. If one state is not compact you still have to get two licenses, but will have more paperwork to go thru, as well as more fees.
  6. by   elkpark
    Technically, you are not "granted licensure in both states." If you live in a compact state, check your license -- it should say something about the license having "compact privileges" (or something like that; I imagine the wording varies from state to state). This means that, as long as you maintain your permanent residence in your home state, your license will be automatically recognized in any of the other compact states and you can work (with your one, original license) in any of the compact states (but, technically, you're not licensed in that state; they're just choosing to honor the license that you do have. I realize that's a very fine hair to be splitting ... ).

    The easy way to understand compact licenses is to think about your driver's license. The only way we are (legally) able to get in our cars and go on a road trip is because 'way back, many, many years ago, all fifty states got together and signed a compact agreeing to recognize each other's drivers' licenses. Oherwise, each time you reached a state line, you'd have to stop and get a drivers' license for that state! However, as we all know, if you move to another state, you have 30 days (or whatever the law is in that particular state) to get a driver's license in your new state of residence.

    Same thing with the "compact license" in nursing. Your nursing license in your home state (if it's a compact state) allows you to work in any other compact state because the states that have signed the nursing licensure compact have agreed to recognize each others' licenses. However, if you move to another state (including another compact state), your original license loses its compact privileges and you have to get a license in your new state (which, if the new state is a compact state, would again have "compact privileges").
  7. by   Jolie
    Quote from natrgrrl
    Can someone explain how licensing works if you work in two different states? I live in Nebraska but I want to work full time in Iowa and part time in Nebraska. They are both compact states but I don't exactly know how that affects my situation.
    Do I need to get an Iowa license or Nebraska? I can't have both, can I?
    NE and IA are both compact states. You will apply for licensure in NE since that is your state of residence, and that compact license will enable you to practice in IA as well.
  8. by   morte
    just to through in another wrinkle....i have lived in one state for the last 22 years.....until about 2 years ago didnt have a lic in that state, but i did in the next state over (and still do) which is the state i worked in for years exclusively and now split......
  9. by   st4wb3rr33sh0rtc4k3
    So if I haven't lived in a state for longer than six months I have to get another license in that state?

    Just wondering, because I have a license in Massachusetts. Only lived in New Mexico for three months. Should I get a new license if I move to lets say Neveda?
  10. by   LolaVenice
    So, I'm curious...how does it work with traveling nurses?

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