If you’ve obtained a Registered Nurse degree, you should be excited about your employment opportunities. Nurses are some of the hireable individuals in America, and you may even have clinics or facilities approach you for employment.
However, it’s important to understand where you can and can’t get a job. RNs can work in any state–and demand for nurses applies nationwide. However, you’ll need to meet exact qualifications that don’t always cross state borders.
If you obtain a license to work in a single state, you cannot practice nursing in any other state. If you want to relocate to another state, you’ll need to obtain another, separate license for that second state. Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare settings can’t hire RNs without a state-specific license. Although, there is an exception.
Nurse Licensure Compact Agreements
NLCAs are multi-state licenses that allow nurses to work in several states without obtaining a separate license for every single location. However, not all states participate in this program.
Also, you’ll need to maintain a permanent residence in one of the participating states. This program is only designed to apply to nurses who may work in several states, like travel nurses. If you move out-of-state permanently, you’ll need to apply to that state’s licensing program, even if that state participates in the NCLA program.
Obtaining Another License
Thankfully, you don’t have to take the NCLEX-RN again if you apply for another state license. You’ll just need to undergo the process of licensure by endorsement. This basically involves a background check, a work history check, and confirmation that you meet that state’s requirements: a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school, the required amount of continuing education credits, and other state-specific requirements. Of course, you’ll also need to pay a fee.
The best way to determine every state’s exact licensing requirements and fees is to research “[name of state] nursing license” and find that state’s Board of Nursing website. You can learn how to transfer your license in a few easy steps.