Moving...license question?


Hi All,

I am in the process of planning a move to Ohio from NH this time next year. My question is, What do I do with my license? Oh is not part of NHs license compact. Would I have to apply for a temporary license? Or is it as simple as changing residency? I am the bread winner right now and I want to make sure if we do move that I am able to work soon after arriving. Thanks in advance!

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

If moving then just start the process of endorsing license now instead of waiting, you can hold 2 or more licenses as you don't loose one because you endorse

We are not planning on leaving until next June, should I still start now? So you are saying I can hold 2 licenses at the same time?

I would start the process at least 2-3 months before you move. Some states have a pretty quick process to get a license by endorsement, but other states take a little while. I've seen some take up to 6 months. Start by looking at the Ohio Board of Nursing website to see what the requirements are to obtain a license by endorsement. That will give you an idea of how much you have to do to get the license.

Yes, you can have a nursing license in more than one state at a time. There is nothing that requires you to give up your current nursing license as long as you continue to meet the requirements to renew it when the time comes. It is up to you if it is worth renewing or letting it lapse.

kiszi, RN

Has 9 years experience.

^You never want to just let a license lapse. If you do not plan to renew your NH license, take the steps to place it on inactive status. It will make it much easier to reactivate later if you should ever want to.

Sure, you can have more than one license.

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.

* Plus two more have pending legislation for this

Edited by cafeaulait

Wow, thanks all! I guess I need to start looking at Ohios process?


Specializes in ICU/PACU. Has 10 years experience.

You will get your Ohio license by endorsement. Check their website for that application. You can always call them if you have more questions.

Next year when you move to Ohio, you must notify Ohio and NH BON of your residency/address change.