Hi I am a nursing student currently in my last semester and getting ready to take boards and start applying for jobs. I currently live in Iowa but I do not necessarily want to work here, and would like to apply in several different states possibly. Do I need to take the test in the state I want to work in? Should I pick a place to live and then test there? In other words, what does it take to make my license mobile?
Apr 24, '09
Once you have a license in one US state, you can apply for licensure in other states by "endorsement." You only have to take the NCLEX once, and it doesn't really matter in which state you take it. It's mostly a matter of passing a background check and paying whatever outrageous fee the "new" state BON chooses to charge, although there are some specific requirements in individual states.
A word of caution/clarification -- someone is sure to come along and say "Iowa is a Compact state, so your Iowa license will be good in other states." There is a lot of confusion about how the Nurse Licensure Compact works. The best way to think about it is that it works exactly the same as your driver's license. You can use an Iowa nursing license to work in other Compact states as long as you maintain your permanent home in Iowa. However, if you move from Iowa to another state, even another Compact state, your license loses its "compact privileges" and you have to apply for licensure in your new state -- the same as you can drive all over the US for work, vacation, whatever, with your Iowa driver's license, but if you move to a new state, then you have 30 or 60 days (or whatever the state law says) to apply for a driver's license in your new state.
Apr 24, '09
Very Helpful information. Thank you very much!