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Should I look out of state for a job?

Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am a recent BSN graduate living in the Philadelphia area. It is tough to find a job without one year of experience here so I am considering various states where I have family living, such as IL, NC, FL, and WI. Is it a waste of time to apply for online jobs at hospitals which state, for example: "Must be in possession of a NC license?" If so, that suggests one must be firmly committed to moving to a specific area and proceed to apply for licensure there?


note to Readers: The original answer had incorrect information on my part. The answer has been edited to reflect the residency requirements of a compact multistate license holder.

Many thanks to the astute readers below for bringing it to my attention.

Dear Looking Out of State,

For the most part, employers want RNs who are ready to work, including having the appropriate state licensure. But it never hurts to apply.

What you might consider doing is establishing residence in a compact state and applying for compact multistate licensure. A multistate license allows compact state residents to practice across state lines in other compact states. There are 24 compact states.

NC and Wisconsin are compact states. However, Florida is not, and Illinois is pending (but not yet a compact state).

A lot of nurses look out of state to land their first job. Good luck with your Job Search.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

nurse-beth-purple-logo.jpg

Edited by Nurse Beth

I'm sorry, but this is not correct. You have to be a legal resident of a compact state to be issued a license with multi-state priviliges. The applicant in your scenario, living in PA, would only be issued a single state license from any NLC state as a non-resident.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

No what she'd have to do is move to compact state and declare residency. What does a PA resident get when they apply for a NC or VA nursing license online, in person or via mail? A nursing license that is only valid in that state. So they would have a PA and an NC license. The NC license is only valid to work in VA. If the PA nurse wanted to work in MD or VA s/he'd need another license.

This is clearly explained in the online FAQ for the NLC:

https://www.ncsbn.org/94.htm

O Nurse Beth, you are O So Wrong about how the Nursing Licensure Compact works.

FloridaBeagle

Specializes in Peds, Neuro, Orthopedics.

OP: apply everywhere. I've had interviews in states where I didn't have their state license yet. The important thing is just to have a license somewhere. It's just a matter of some paperwork and a fee to get a new one (except some states like NY want some particular online classes...)

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Thank you much for your replies and giving the right information. You guys are awesome.

The original answer has been edited with a correction about needing residency in a compact state to qualify for a multistate license.

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Thank you, chare Got it :)

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Thanks justbeachynurse for the explanation and the link :)

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

It's the sign of a true professional that can accept correction. No one knows everything and everyone always has something to learn. ;)

So are you saying you can be licensed in more than 1 state? I live in Michigan and they are not a compact state, can I get a license lets say Ohio? I just need clarity.

Thanks

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis.

If you are willing to pay for the license and meet requirements of a particular states licensure (basic education and CEUs), then you can have license to practice anywhere you wish. Just contact that particular BON with any questions of concerns, starting with their website

Hi Nurse Beth, I already posted a question once before but did not see an answer to it. I am in the process of moving to Florida and will be applying for my LPN in that state. My question is regarding my lack of experience as an LPN. I have been working as a home health aide with an agency that didn't require a CHHA and never worked as an LPN for a facility, meaning assisted living or LTC.

My fear is that when I relocate I will have the same trouble as I have in NJ and won't be able to get a job since I don't have that crucial 1 year experience. No one seems to want to hire new nurses unless they have worked as nurses aides before.

I am not physically able to work as a nurse aide so I went for the LPN directly never having had any medical background. I know have been working as a home health aide, under paid for 2 years with the LPN license and 4 years privately.

I am thinking of leaving the nursing field since I can't survive on a home health aide salary forever. This is very discouraging.

What is your advice about obtaining a job without that 1 year of experience?

Thank You

Donna/LPN

If i may piggyback off your question to Beth,I have been a RN since 1994,mainly in care homes than last 11yrs.in dialysis.I too am finding it difficult in California. Please help us Beth.

explorereb96

Specializes in Pediatrics Telemetry CCU ICU.

Donna/LPN... I moved to Florida 3 years ago. The process of licensure here is a an experience in itself. I live on the west Coast, North of Tampa. I haven't had a problem finding LPN positions whatsoever, it just depends on where you want to work. Hospitals are really not hiring LPNs if they don't have to. if they do it's for the very things that a CNA's do..etc. ER tech etc. So that is the heavy lifting etc. I am taking this time to go back for my LPN--BSN because of this. It seemed that any Home Health agency or nursing home would gladly have me work for them but like you, I can't do the heavy stuff anymore. Keep looking, sell yourself, tell them what you have achieved even though you can not prove it with paper. Be willing to start at the bottom again but tell them what you just wrote... you will find a job.

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

My question is regarding my lack of experience as an LPN. I have been working as a home health aide with an agency that didn't require a CHHA and never worked as an LPN for a facility, meaning assisted living or LTC.

My fear is that when I relocate I will have the same trouble as I have in NJ and won't be able to get a job since I don't have that crucial 1 year experience. No one seems to want to hire new nurses unless they have worked as nurses aides before.

I am not physically able to work as a nurse aide so I went for the LPN directly never having had any medical background. I know have been working as a home health aide, under paid for 2 years with the LPN license and 4 years privately.

I am thinking of leaving the nursing field since I can't survive on a home health aide salary forever. This is very discouraging.

What is your advice about obtaining a job without that 1 year of experience?

Thank You

Donna/LPN

It will depend a lot on the area and the need for LPNs in that area. You may have to start out as an LPN by taking a job that is not your dream job. It's too soon to give up until you've given it a shot, though.You may be surprised in your new location- I hope so! Best wishes

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

If i may piggyback off your question to Beth,I have been a RN since 1994,mainly in care homes than last 11yrs.in dialysis.I too am finding it difficult in California. Please help us Beth.
It's hard to find acute care jobs in California without acute care experience, if that's what you're asking. There are jobs in sub-acute and sometimes you can transition from there. All areas in California are not equal- the toughest job markets are in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. You can find opportunities inland. Best wishes.

Yes you can have multiple state licenses. My mom has a couple and I will have three shortly. I have the "extra" because I am a travel nurse and there are a couple non compact states that had needs and reached out.

Just a heads up one of the states you mentioned is the lowest paying states for nurses and it's just the same hard dedicated work. Be sure you match the cost of living with your decision!! Good luck on the search.

Thank you Beth,do you think it wise for a 57y/o who have been out of nursing due to taking care of parents for 6yrs,try ltc or subacute? I keep a vald license,and try to stay abreast of what is changing.I live in the bayarea.

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