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Apply for state nursing license BEFORE applying for jobs?

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JeanettePNP has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy.

1 Article; 26,330 Visitors; 1,863 Posts

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I am in the job-search process. I sent out applications to hospitals in at least 5 states, but so far I'm only licensed in one state. It doesn't make sense to me to apply (and pay for) 5 different state licenses when I dont' know where I'll eventually get a job offer. OTOH maybe my out of state applications aren't even being considered because I lack state licensure.

So, is it worth it to apply for multiple licenses before I know for sure where I'll be working?

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I don't see the point in wasting the money. I would call some of these employers and directly ask to see the response. However, I suspect that they may be tossing your application in favor of local applicants. Makes one wonder how out of state people ever get hired.

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classicdame is a MSN, EdD and specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

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no one will hire you without a license. Get the license from your state of residence, then if you are hired elsewhere the new employer will be able to verify you are licensed. They may even help with the cost of getting another license in that state (my employer did).

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JeanettePNP has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy.

1 Article; 26,330 Visitors; 1,863 Posts

As I wrote in the OP, I am already licensed in my home state (which is not a compact state). I would like to broaden my options by applying to other states which are more new-grad friendly. But I'm afraid that I'm not even being considered without a license for that state. Good idea to call those out-of-state hospitals and find out if they're looking at my application. New grad + out of state doesn't exactly put me on top of anyone's list...

Edited by JeanettePNP

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After graduating, I moved to Texas. While job hunting in Texas, almost every application asked for license number and state. I never received a call on any application that I listed my former-state license on. On the other hand, I never received calls for any of the applications that had my new in-state license!!!

I think as a new graduate, you are at a severe disadvantage either way.

I eventually found a job working in LTC. I applied in person, they copied my paper license and offered me a job on the spot.

Is there any way you can visit these states and apply in person to smaller less-known facilities?

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14,610 Visitors; 1,061 Posts

In many states you can get reciprocity. Once you get a RN License,

some states will allow you to send in an application and your home state

sends over verification of your current license. You pay the fee in the second

state and they will issue a license. You continue to pay the fee for your

home state and you will have a separate license in both states.

There must be anagreement between agreeing states.( This is different from the compact agreement.)

So, I would ask employers first --for example, Massachusetts and

Rhode Island have a reciprocity agreement as many us work across state lines..

Other states have a residency requirement and will not issue a license

unless you are currently working in their state.

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3,949 Visitors; 171 Posts

Research the process and cost for each state you plan to apply in and see which states are hard or take a long time to get your license in. Maybe get the license for your first or second choice states. I got WAY more call backs once I was licensed in the state. One state said it took 15 days and it actually took 60, so Id do some research if you plan to wait until you have a job offer.

It was a huge expense for me, but it was worth it.

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What are compact states/compact agreements? I have a RN license in FL, and I'm interested in traveling nursing to NY. Could someone please explain what compact states are? thanks

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Already having a license in the "new" state shows potential employers that you are serious about relocating there, as opposed to just blanketing the US with random applications. Applying from another state already puts you at a disadvantage compared to other applicants, and employers tend to be dismissive of out-of-state applicants unless you can convince them that you are a serious applicant. I agree that applying for lots of licenses gets expensive, but, if you know that you are more interested in one of the other states, it might be worthwhile to go ahead and get a license in that state, and focus your job search in that state for the time being.

Best wishes for your journey!

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Tait has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Pain and Spine.

6 Articles; 28,143 Visitors; 2,093 Posts

I applied for jobs in Georgia before I was licensed in Georgia. As long as you hold an active RN license I would wait until you get hired to get your license. Sure it might "look good" on an application, but is it worth hundreds of dollars to still not have a job in the end? I personally do not think so. If at some point you narrow your search to one state and are committed to living there, it might make more sense.

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Tait has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Pain and Spine.

6 Articles; 28,143 Visitors; 2,093 Posts

Already having a license in the "new" state shows potential employers that you are serious about relocating there, as opposed to just blanketing the US with random applications. Applying from another state already puts you at a disadvantage compared to other applicants, and employers tend to be dismissive of out-of-state applicants unless you can convince them that you are a serious applicant. I agree that applying for lots of licenses gets expensive, but, if you know that you are more interested in one of the other states, it might be worthwhile to go ahead and get a license in that state, and focus your job search in that state for the time being.

Best wishes for your journey!

EP I am a fan of yours, so don't take my question the wrong way, but how do you know out of state apps are dismissed?

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