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Registering for license help!


So, I will be graduating in December from a nursing school in Missouri. I will be moving to Maryland after graduation, since my husband is in the Air Force and currently lives there. I was just planning on getting licensed in Missouri since it is a compact state. However, I am a legal resident of Alaska, and a physical resident of Kansas. The Missouri BON said that you need to be a resident to apply. I am so confused by the Maryland BON website. Do I need to establish residency in Maryland in order to apply for a license there? Also, what documents do I need? I have emailed them and called, but gotten no response. I guess I could fly there this week to get a Maryland driver's license. Any advice is appreciated!

A compact license with multi-state privileges works similar to a driver’s license. As long as you maintain legal residency in the state from which it was issued it allows you to practice in any of the other compact states. If you relocate from one compact state to another, and change your legal residency to the new state you can practice for either 30 or 90 days, depending upon which state, on your original compact license but you still have to apply for licensure in the new compact state.

It is important to remember that each state determines the requirements for establishing residency. Also remember, that you can’t arbitrarily determine that you are going to maintain residency in Alaska. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act you should do so; someone in the legal assistance office on your husband’s duty station should be able to help you with this.

Regarding which state to apply for licensure in. If you know that you will be relocating to Maryland, why not apply for licensure there? However, if you would rather apply for licensre in Missouri as you attended school there and apply for licensure by endorsement when you relocate to Maryland you can do this as well. However, as you are not a legal resident your license would be a single state license, only good in Missouri. The following was copied from the Missouri State Board of Nursing Application for RN License by Examination:

If you declare a non-compact state as your state of primary residence, and you meet all other requirements for licensure in Missouri, you will receive a single-state license valid for practice only in Missouri.

Edited by chare

Thanks for the response! The reason I am still a resident of Alaska and have not changed my residency yet is because we just made the move this summer. I was in Maryland for about two weeks before I had to leave to go back to school. I was planning on becoming a Maryland resident after I had finished school. However, if I am understanding correctly, in order for the compact state license to work in multiple states, I need to be a resident of the state that I apply in? So it would be in my best interest to go establish residency in Maryland before I send in my application?

Applying for initial licensure in Maryland is going to be the cheapest and fastest way to obtain licensure there. When you receive your license, as a non-resident, it will grant single state privileges only. When you relocate to Maryland after completing school and update your address with the Maryland BON your license status should change, granting you multi-state privileges.

While many folks make much ado about having a multi-state license, for most people the benefit, if any, are negligible. If you live on the border of two or more compact states the advantage is obvious. If you want to travel and maintain legal residency in a compact state, again the benefits are obvious. Other than these two situations, not so much as when you permanently relocate you still have to apply for licensure by endorsement in your new state.

And please thank your husband for his service.