Licensing for Nursing Programs in Different States

  1. Hello,

    I need some advice. I'm currently in IL enrolled in an accelerated second-degree program to get my BSN. My plan was to get my BSN, and then move to Utah or Colorado.

    After doing some research about getting licensed in different states, it sounds better to just move now and graduate and test where I want to work. Seems like it would save time and money.

    I'm honestly not too impressed with my program either for the money. I've found a few prospects that would allow me to still graduate on time for around the same tuition.

    I guess my question is how hard is it really to switch licenses?

    Should I just stick with my program and move in a year and a half, or is it a better idea to move now?

    Any advice would be amazing.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edit by akgreenberg92 on Jul 7
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    About akgreenberg92

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 10; Likes: 5
    from IL , US

    11 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Stick with your program until graduation, then get licensed in the state you actually plan to work in. Attempting to switch programs would be complicated, not to mention moving to a different state on top of that.
    You can take NCLEX in any state. It's the same everywhere.
  4. by   akgreenberg92
    Thanks, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't going to be difficult. I got mixed messages on random blogs.
  5. by   NICU Guy
    You need to apply for a license in the state you want to live in and then let the school know where you want your graduation packet to go to. Essentially, you can go to school in Illinois, take NCLEX in Florida while you are on vacation and get licensed in Utah.
  6. by   akgreenberg92
    That is really good to know! Thank you so much!
  7. by   akgreenberg92
    Did either of you have to do ATI proctored exams in school?
  8. by   NICU Guy
    Each semester. It was a part of our grade for the class the exam was in. 100% of the points for a Lvl 3 and 85% of the points for a Lvl 2. We took the ATI Comprehensive predictor and the Kaplan Predictor.
  9. by   Mavrick
    Quote from akgreenberg92
    Hello,

    I need some advice. I'm currently in IL enrolled in an accelerated second-degree program to get my BSN. My plan was to get my BSN, and then move to Utah or Colorado.

    After doing some research about getting licensed in different states, it sounds better to just move now and graduate and test where I want to work. Seems like it would save time and money.

    I'm honestly not too impressed with my program either for the money. I've found a few prospects that would allow me to still graduate on time for around the same tuition.

    I guess my question is how hard is it really to switch licenses?

    Should I just stick with my program and move in a year and a half, or is it a better idea to move now?

    Any advice would be amazing.

    Thanks in advance!
    You actually don't switch licenses, you get another one. Just pay the separate fees and meet the requirements for that state and you can have a nursing license in as many states as you want.
  10. by   Mavrick
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    You need to apply for a license in the state you want to live in and then let the school know where you want your graduation packet to go to. Essentially, you can go to school in Illinois, take NCLEX in Florida while you are on vacation and get licensed in Utah.
    I would slightly modify this to: apply to the state you want to work in. It will probably be the same state you live in but if there is a difference you must have the license in the state you will be working.

    I lived in Kansas City, Missouri and had to have a Kansas license to work in Kansas. They don't care where you live.
  11. by   tonyl1234
    Look up the licensing requirements of the state you want to work in. Some require your nursing program to be completed in that state to be able to test for a license.

    But reach out to them about their process of getting licensed in their state after getting your initial license. Lots of states now let you freely move between them for just a small fee. But some have a longer process that can take a few months. Typically, unless you get arrested or get in trouble for something serious, like patient abuse, you can just get licensed in another state, for a little bit of money and a couple months of waiting. You're not bound to only being able to work in 1 state for the rest of your life. It's basically just a background check to make sure you're still eligible to be licensed.
  12. by   akgreenberg92
    Thanks, everyone!
  13. by   CharlieFoxtrot
    I also agree with previous posters - finish school where you are since some schools will not accept coursework from other schools. You may also lose the ability to have in-state tuition rates since you would be changing your residency. Not to mention buying books for a new program, new scrubs, new stuff for a new program. There are better ways to spend lots of money

    Depending on the state in which you live, you may qualify for a nursing compact license. Some states allow nurses from compact states to work in their state without a switch of license.

    Compact states as of 5/2018 are:

    Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

    The biggest holdouts are the folks on the left coast (CA, WA, OR, NV, HI, AK), but when all is said and done, it's 2/3 of the country that has some sort of reciprocity.

    I live in KCMO, and Missouri is a compact state. Literally a rock's throw down the street is Kansas, which is not a compact state. If I lived in KS, I would have to get a license for every state, whereas in Missouri I can practice in all of the compact states.
    Last edit by CharlieFoxtrot on Jul 17 : Reason: Mixed up compact states. Added info for lookup. The Derp is strong with this one.

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