license transfer....


I am in the midst of transferring my license to New York. I'm starting to wonder WHY, now that we all take the same NCLEX, we need to have state licensure? I realise in the past, different states had different boards, with certain states being much more difficult than others, but now we all take the same exam. I know there are reasons, and I am unaware of them, so I am wondering if someone can enlighten me as to why this is now the case....

And actually, I think I am just venting out some steam, as the NY application seems to take Forever to be processed.....



14,633 Posts

The reason is that each state has the statutory right and responsibility to regulate the practice of nursing within its own borders. The NCLEX is just one requirement for getting a license in the first place, and has nothing to do with what happens after you're licensed.

Quite a few states, so far, have joined the Nurse Licensure Compact -- the signatories agree to recognize each other's licenses, so that you can work in a Compact state other than your home state (if it, too, is a Compact state) without having to get an additional license. However, you are required to abide by the Nurse Practice Act and the rules/regs of the state you're working in, not your home state -- the individual states still maintain control over nursing practice within their borders.

I've moved a few times over the course of my career, so I sympathize with how frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive it can be to get a license in another state! With one of my moves (to attend grad school), I applied for the license in the new state (where my school was located) over the summer (filled out all the paperwork, paid the hefty fee), and finally received my "new" license in late August -- only to find, when it arrived, that it expired on my birthday, which was only about a month away! So I had to immediately apply for renewal and pay another huge fee ... Jeez, what a racket ... :rolleyes:

Good luck with your efforts!

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

As stated above, NCLEX is only one part of the license, education is the other part..............and requirements can vary between states.

Just a reminder, a compact state license is only good while you maintain your legal residence in the original state, you may work in the other states, but if you actually legally move your tax residence, then the compact license is null and void.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

You are also not transferring your license. You just applying for an additional license by endorsement. You will actually continue to have the original license until the time that it expires. Then it will be up to you whether or not to renew it.


875 Posts

Yup, I come from a compact license state...then moved my tax home to a non-compact as a traveler in the first state, (It's all a bit strange, but I took a year off to do work in Africa, and made my tax home my parents place...) and was a bit surprised to verify my license one day and see it come up in big letters, "This license is only valid in XYZ state"...

I don't mind a bit doing the paperwork, but I was a little surprised when they wanted to verify my elementary school and the "degree earned" from elementary school!!!! :nurse:

Elkpark, your story made me laugh, about getting your license and then renewing it one month later.... :chuckle hope it doesn't happen to me that way!!!


14,633 Posts

Elkpark, your story made me laugh, about getting your license and then renewing it one month later.... hope it doesn't happen to me that way!!!

(Believe me, it didn't make ME laugh -- I was furious! I also hope that doesn't happen to you. Best wishes!)


215 Posts

I am confused about something. For the compact law to apply, do you have to retain an address in the compact state? for example, if my Lic is from TX and I wanna apply for a job in TN (both compact states), if my address that am using is in TN, does that mean I need to apply for a Lic in TN within 30 days of getting that address to keep the job? I have had this prob. now for a month. I talked to the TX BON and they said I just needed to keep a current mailing address with them (which I have), but now my job tells me I need to apply for a permit from TN to keep my job?? I don't understand. I wanna know what travel nurses do in compact states. Do they just keep changing licenses from state to state. Sorry about the ranting but I just found out about this today from HR and am out of a job till I get a permit. What if I change my lic. to TN and next month decide I don't like it anymore and have to move back to TX?? Will I then have to change back to TX??? UUUGGGHH!

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Yes, the compact license is only good while your tax license is in that same state. If you move, then you will have to get a license in that new state.

Travel nurses normally maintain a tax base in their home state, then the compact license is okay. But if they move their tax base, then they would need a license in that state.

Your job is correct. If you have moved, then you need the new license.

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