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License Issue

Posted
HHRNurse HHRNurse (Member)

If a nurse lives close to a state border and lives in one state but works in the other don't they have to have a current state license in the state in which they are working? We recently lost one of HH nurses because did not have a license in our state, only in her state which is only a 30 minute drive and where she owns a home. I understand how that happens and how they may have a certain length in time in which they need to get their license transferred or add a new one but this was not identified for over 2 years! I think someone in HR dropped the ball too?

ObtundedRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

I think it also depends if they are compact states. I might be wrong, but if you live in a compact state, and work in a different compact state, I think you are supposed to have a license in the state of your residency? But if they are not both compact states, then you need a license in the state you work.

I'm not very sure about this, so if I'm wrong, don't rip me apart. lol

The above is my understanding too. I live on the border of two compact states so I can work in either with a license from my home state.

I live an hour or so away from a neighboring state, I hold two licenses. My home state is not compact. The neighboring state is.

David13, MSN, RN

Has 20 years experience.

A nurse must always have a current license that is issued by the state in which he or she is working. Whether the nurse is covered by a compact state licensure agreement or a separate licensure from that individual state is required, current state licensure in the state in which the nurse is working is one of the primary requirements for any nursing employment.

If the nurse in question worked as a nurse in a state in which he or she did not have licensure, I would think there may be serious legal consequences for both the nurse and his or her employer.

Both the individual nurse and the facility "dropped the ball." It is against the law for the individual nurse to work without an active, valid license in the state in which s/he is working (or a valid compact state license), and it is the responsibility of the employing facility/organization (per state, CMS, and JCAHO regulations) to verify that it is only allowing individuals who have valid, active licenses to work in its facilit(ies) and care for its clients.

I remember 'way back when I first graduated from school and got licensed (much farther back than I care to admit :)) -- the first time our licenses were due for renewal, my best friend from school got met at the back door of the hospital where she worked by someone from the nursing administration, who informed that she couldn't come to work that day because her license had expired (at midnight that day) and she hadn't provided them with proof of a renewed license -- when I asked how on earth she had let that happen, she replied that she hadn't realized that the exact date was that big a deal; she assumed (:uhoh3:) there was some kind of grace period or something ... -- and she wouldn't be able to come to work again until she had a valid license. (Fortunately, she was able to get her license renewed quickly.)

That's how it's supposed to work, but lots of employers are surprisingly slack about their own responsibilities in this area. When I worked as a state and Federal surveyor in my state for several years, checking to see that employers had a system for keeping track of employees' licenses was part of a routine survey -- we cited organizations many times, not for having unlicensed people working for them, but simply for not having the evidence/documentation to show us that they were keeping track of people's licenses.

Edited by elkpark

DCtraumarn

Specializes in Trauma, Burn, Crticial Care. Has 9 years experience.

I moved to VA from a Midwestern Compact state (WI). I got a job in DC and applied for and received a DC license (not part of any compact). I also got a job in VA and since I was now domiciled in VA - I had to apply for a compact license from the Commonwealth of VA since it was my new residence. You can only hold one compact license and therefore did not renew my WI license. I have since moved to Maryland which is also a compact state but have not applied for a Maryland license. Everyday I leave my homw in Maryland, drive through VA and end in DC.

I moved to VA from a Midwestern Compact state (WI). I got a job in DC and applied for and received a DC license (not part of any compact). I also got a job in VA and since I was now domiciled in VA - I had to apply for a compact license from the Commonwealth of VA since it was my new residence. You can only hold one compact license and therefore did not renew my WI license. I have since moved to Maryland which is also a compact state but have not applied for a Maryland license. Everyday I leave my homw in Maryland, drive through VA and end in DC.

It's true you can only hold one "compact license" at a time, but the requirement is that that license needs to be in your "home" state. If you are now living in Maryland, you need to apply for a MD license (unless you are somehow still a permanent resident of VA). You are also required to promptly inform your BON of any change of address -- have you informed the VA BON that you've moved to MD?

DCtraumarn

Specializes in Trauma, Burn, Crticial Care. Has 9 years experience.

Actually I am no longer working in VA nor living in VA - just the District and hold that current license.