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School location affect where you can work?


Hello everyone,

I am currently in a diploma program set to graduate in June 2016 but I know I for sure want to achieve a DNP specializing in mental health. I have already selected 3-4 RN-BSN programs but I am having issues trying to find a BSN-DNP program for me. I would prefer an all online option as I will most likely have to work while doing this degree, even if it means it takes longer to achieve.

I will be receiving an RN license for Missouri which is a member of the NLC states, but will where I receive my BSN and eventually my DNP affect if I continue to hold that Missouri license to where I can practice in those other NLC states?

Money is definitely a factor as well as the programs themselves and I have found a few programs I am very interested in but I am afraid if I receive the degree(s) from a state that isn't in the NLC then I will be unable to practice in Missouri. I would love to eventually move out of Missouri but for right now I will assume I will be working here.

Any answers and suggestions of where to research this is very much appreciated and welcomed. Thanks in advance for reading and/or replying.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care. Has 27 years experience.

Hi and welcome to AN!

I'd like to pick apart your post for clarity and in order to answer your questions thoroughly. You are currently a student in an RN diploma program? Great, I actually thought those programs are pretty much extinct but that's wonderful. You know that after you graduate, you are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN and if you pass, you get an RN license in Missouri where you live.

Missouri participates in the NLC of the NCSBN. This system requires a number of conditions. You must reside in a state that is part of the NLC. If you decide to cross state lines and seek employment in another state that participates in the NLC, you do not need to endorse your license as long as you continue to declare MO as your state of residence. This applies to RN travelers who take assignments in hospitals located in states that participate in the NLC as well as nurses who live along state borders who commute for work to neighboring states that participate in the NLC (i.e, a MO nurse who could commute to IA, NE, KY, and TN - states that are part of the NLC). That's pretty much the extent of your NLC involvement as a MO resident.

Once you graduate from an RN-BSN program, wherever it is, there will be no changes to your RN license even though you've added an educational credential under your belt. Where that BSN will be scrutinized is in the event that you have to endorse your RN license to another state. The state where you will be applying for endorsement to will ask for all your educational transcripts and both your Diploma and BSN program must be submitted. In most circumstances, you will not have a problem unless you have graduated from both degrees in a non CCNE or ACEN nursing program and the other state requires that. Some schools such as Excelsior College are not approved in about 15 states.

If you decide to pursue further studies as a PMHNP (MSN or DNP), the state of Missouri requires a nurse practitioner to have obtained national certification from ANCC for recognition as a graduate APN (no prescriptive authority yet). It doesn't matter where you got your degree from as long as you have the national certification from ANCC. Be aware that ANCC requires that you graduate from a CCNE or ACEN accredited NP program as a requirement for eligibility to test - this is an important detail. Prescriptive authority in MO requires additional 1000 hours of clinical practice and 300 hours of precepted experience in prescribing drugs. Where you went to school will not affect that requirement.

I hope that answered your questions.



One brief addition to Juan's excellent explanation -- the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact) does not apply to advanced practice nursing, just basic RN licensure. If you end up becoming a PMHNP, you cannot just automatically practice in other compact states as an advanced practice nurse. You would have to apply for NP licensure/certification in any other state in which you wanted to practice.