Jump to content

Licensed in multiple states?


I am signed up for my NCLEX through OH, but I live right on the border between OH and KY. I am actively searching for a job as I am taking my NCLEX on the 19th. Today it occured to me that it would open up a whole new set of options if I could apply for jobs in KY too. I'm assuming my license will only cover me to work in OH. What would I have to do to be able to work in KY as well? anyone here from around this area or know anything? I got onto the OBN website but had trouble finding the type of information I was looking for. I'm going to look on the KY site here in a minute too.

You can get your first nursing license in any state (let's call it State 1) by applying to that state's Board of Nursing (BoN) and getting their approval to sit the NCLEX exam in their jurisdiction. You don't have to have gone to school in State 1 to do this. You have to meet whatever criteria they want-- your nursing school has to be accepted by them (some states approve schools that other states won't approve), if there are fingerprinting or other requirements, they'll want a transcript, and they want the money. Then when you pass NCLEX you are granted a State 1 RN license.

So now you want to move to State 2. You write to the State 2 BoN and tell them you want a State 2 license by reciprocity (or by endorsement, same thing for practical intent and purpose). They tell you what they want, which may be all of the above again, and the money, and then they send you a State 2 license. Unlike your driver's license, you don't have to turn in your State 1 license. You can be licensed in as many states as you like (or can afford). :)

24 states are part of a Nursing Licensure Compact*. Compact states grant you the ability to practice within their borders if your license is from another Compact state (a state where you have your primary legal residence) without going through all that process outlined above (though you probably will have to pay something). If your legal residence isn't a Compact state, you can still get a license in State 2, though. And 3, and 4, and 5...

As an example: My primary legal residence is not a Compact state. I have a license there. I do some work in a neighboring state which is a Compact state, but since my home state isn't, I got it by reciprocity/ see above process. Now I have a Compact state license so I should be good to go to any other Compact state and get a license easily, right? Wrong, because my legal residence is in a nonCompact state.

So I have licenses in 8 states and they cost me a bloody fortune because I had to go through that whole process in every single one of them, even though most are Compact states. Order a college transcript (at $10 per) for all. NY wants me to take an online class on recognizing and reporting abuse-- time and money. Two or three states want me to pay for background checks-- a coupla hunnert bucks per. A few others want fingerprints...on their forms only, done by recognized law enforcement (as I said, the local State Police barracks got used to seeing a lot of me there for awhile). Many, but not all, participate in a national licensure verification system called Nursys, so I pay for Nursys to verify my license in all the states they work with to all the rest of them, at $30 each...but California doesn't participate in Nursys, so it's $60 to have them verify my license to everyone else. Each. And so on.

* 24 Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) States (current)(two more are considering joining)


Arizona 7/1/2002

Arkansas 7/1/2000

Colorado 10/1/2007

Delaware 7/1/2000

Idaho 7/1/2001

Iowa 7/1/2000

Kentucky 6/1/2007

Maine 7/1/2001

Maryland 7/1/1999

Mississippi 7/1/2001

Missouri 6/1/2010

Nebraska 1/1/2001

New Hampshire 1/1/2006

New Mexico 1/1/2004

North Carolina 7/1/2000

North Dakota 1/1/2004

Rhode Island 7/1/2008

South Carolina 2/1/2006

South Dakota 1/1/2001

Tennessee 7/1/2003

Texas 1/1/2000

Utah 1/1/2000

Virginia 1/1/2005

Wisconsin 1/1/2000

Thank you very much for the information! I looked up KYBON after I posted this and did see they offer a compact license. However it also states that it does not allow me to work in states that do not participate in the compact licensure, which means I have to get licensed in both states regardless. This sounds like some of what you were explaining above. I suppose I'll wait and see if I pass my NCLEX and then if I do I will take the necessary steps to be able to work in KY also. Thanks so much for taking the time to type this out for me. Very helpful!

Thank you very much for the information! Thanks so much for taking the time to type this out for me. Very helpful!

You are quite welcome. In all honesty... I posted this on AN a long time ago. You could have found it and many other related posts by going to the yellow bar up at the top of the page and typing in "Compact" or "nursing licensure" or "multiple states" or all sorts of other things. That's how I find my past posts on oft-repeated questions like this one.

There really is nothing new under the sun, or on AN... but so many people don't know about the Search feature. I wish more new members were made aware of this when they join, and then they could save time.

I did not know I could search. Also helpful to know! Thanks again!