Nurses General Nursing


I am going to try to make this question very simple

Can you only work in the state that issues you your license?

I live in a tri-state area and don't want to be restricted from getting a job close to me just because it is across a state line.

I know, ya'll are reading this thinking "what a STUPID question." I realize that the chances of working in Missouri with an Illinois license is probably non-existent, but you never know.

I do, however, know that if i have any nursing questions at all, someone here will know the answer.

Thanks a bunch:)



1,577 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

Hi there,

Some US states have a multi-licensure policy. If you have a license in that state then there are also other states that you can legally practice in without having to apply for another license. Off the top of my head I know that North Carolina is one. There are a few more but I can't remember which ones. Check out one of the nursing magazines(RN, Nursing or AJN). I recall recently reading an article in one of those magazines about this topic.

I am originally from PA and moved to OH over 2 years ago. I had to apply for a license by endorsement to practice in Ohio. I keep my PA license because I don't need CEU's to renew it and it only costs 21 dollars every two years for renewal.

Good Luck!



89 Posts

Hi. You can get a license in Missouri by endorsement (you still get to keep your Illinois license). Some states are already in the Mutual compact thingy (I'm having a brain fart right now about what it's called) & can practice in any of those states that are in the agreement.:)


624 Posts

Specializes in ICU/CCU (PCCN); Heme/Onc/BMT.

I live in New York and commute to a hospital in Massachusetts. Recieved the MA nursing licence by mailing some money and completing the necessary paper work. I like having choices.

Receprocity. Don't know how it works in all states, but at least there's receprocity between New York and the neighboring states. So . . . if I wanted to work in Conneticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, or Massachusetts (sorry for the mispelling), all I have to do is send in a bunch of money and fill out lots of necessary paper work. How much money and paper work depends on each state (I think). I honestly don't remember how much I spent for the MA nursing licence. Potential for lots of choices!!

My sister, who is also a nurse, has at least three different nursing licences from three different states (New York, Maryland, and California . . . I also think she worked in Texas for a while, but don't really remember). She's got lots and lots of choices!!!

Choices are cool!!! Go for the choices!!!

Hope this helps. It's a little rambly, but it's a slow night at work and I have diarrhea of the keyboard.:)

Ted Fiebke

P. S. . . . What you asked was not a "stupid question". Glad you felt safe enough to ask it!!

P.S.P.S. I see that this is my 50th post . . . I guess I'm a senior member . . . feeling so old. . . bones hurting . . . mind drifting . . . drooling from the side of my mouth. . . again more diarrhea of the keyboards . . .


648 Posts

If I lived on the border of one or more states, I would certainly consider multiple licenses BUT beware that you must maintain all licenses to their satisfaction and that would not be difficult or undoable but it would be something you have to stay on top of. (Sometimes ONE state challenges me quite a bit, thank you.)


375 Posts


I also live in a tri-state area --Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.

I have my Tennessee license and if I wanted a Georgia license I would have to send them money and paperwork but if I had a Georgia and wanted a Tennessee I would have to test again, so I've heard, because the "passing standard" is higher in Tenn. Again I have not officially checked into this so it may not be true. But I would prefer not to work in Ga........STATE INCOME TAX :rolleyes: !!!

I don't know about Alambama, I try to stay away from there... those people scare me sometime!!! KIDDING ;)

Go to the states' Board of Nursing website, maybe they can help more than I just did!!!!!

:D :D :D


39 Posts

:confused: Hi! I'm from Fl.....when I came here I just had to prove things and fill out paperwork and send lots of money!!!! Do you really have to TEST OUT in some states??? Be glad to know which ones. Good luck!!
Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,064 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Check out National Council of State Boards of Nursing website which lists license requirements by state:

Currently, most staes offer reciprocity: if license in good standing in original state of licensure, can apply for license in another state WITHOUT retaking nursing exam; paperwork, license verification fees and license fee required.

"The mutual recognition model of nurse licensure would allow a nurse to have one license (in his or her state of residency) and practice in other states, as long as that individual acknowledges that he or she is subject to each state's practice laws and discipline. Under mutual recognition, practice across state lines would be allowed, whether physical or electronic, unless the nurse is under discipline or a monitoring agreement that restricts practice across state lines. In order to achieve mutual recognition, each state would have to enter into an interstate compact that allows nurses to practice in more than one state."

Check here for list of states approving model:

I have licenses in PA (original), NJ and Del. due to past as IV nurse, occasional saw pts in NJ and Del. Now working in intake for homecare, we serve all three states, so need to be able to accept orders in all three states. Only one with CE is Delaware. It is not hard to do.

Pros and cons re multistate licensure can be found here:

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