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Frequently Asked Questions > Nurse Licensure Compact

What is the mutual recognition model?

How is the Nurse Licensure Compact implemented?

What states are presently members of the Nurse Licensure Compact?

How does the Nurse Licensure Compact work?

What determines primary residency for licensure purposes in the Nurse Licensure Compact?

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are a resident of New Hampshire?

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are not a resident of New Hampshire?

Does the Nurse Licensure Compact change requirements for licensure in New Hampshire?

How does the Nurse Licensure Compact address the varying scopes of nursing practice in each state?

Are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) included in the Nurse Licensure Compact?

Are Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) or Medication Nursing Assistants (MNAs) included in the Nurse Licensure Compact?

Will NH continue to issue temporary licenses to new graduate nurses and to nurses applying for NH license by endorsement?

How will an employer know if a nurse's license is valid?

What if I am a Civil Employee working in a Federal facility and not a member of the military or public health service corp?

What about a licensee who has been disciplined by a Board of Nursing?

How do you know if a license is in "good-standing"?

What about licensees who are currently enrolled in the "Road to Recovery" program in New Hampshire?

How does the Nurse Licensure Compact affect my APRN license?

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What is the mutual recognition model?

The mutual recognition model of nurse licensure allows a nurse to have one license (in the nurse's state of residency) and to practice in other states. Under mutual recognition, practice across state lines is allowed, whether physical or electronic, unless the nurse is under discipline or a monitoring agreement that restricts practice across state lines. In order to achieve mutual recognition, a state must enter into an interstate compact, called the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) also referred to in this article as the "Compact".

How is the Nurse Licensure Compact implemented?

In order for a state to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, state legislators or regulators must enact the interstate compact into state law or regulation. Based on the passage of SB 170 which revised the Nurse Practice Act during the 2004-2005 legislative sessions, New Hampshire is now a member of the Compact and will implemented the Compact on January 1, 2006.

Effective January 1, 2006 RNs and LPNs with primary residence in New Hampshire are eligible to hold a multi-state license. This license allows the nurse to practice in New Hampshire as well as other Compact states without getting a separate license in each Compact state.

What states are presently members of the Nurse Licensure Compact?

As of June 2010, the following states in addition to New Hampshire are members of the Compact:

Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Delaware
Idaho
Iowa
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Wisconsin


 

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How does the Nurse Licensure Compact work?

Your license to practice in the RN or LPN role is issued by the state in which you legally reside, and allows you to practice in any other state that is part of the Compact. If you move to a different "compact state", you must apply for a license from the board in your newly adopted state, and inactivate your license in your former "compact state". You may maintain a license to practice in any other non-compact state. You may not maintain a multi-state license in more than one compact state at a time.

What determines primary residency for licensure purposes in the Nurse Licensure Compact?

"Primary state of residence" is defined by the compact as "the state of a person's declared fixed permanent and principal home or domicile for legal purposes". Evidence of a primary state of residence may be required. Sources used as evidence include, but are not limited to, driver's license, federal income tax return, military payroll documents, and voter registration. If you declare a change in your permanent residence from another compact state, you have 30 days to obtain a license in that state.

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are a resident of New Hampshire?

If you are a resident of New Hampshire, and hold an active NH nursing license, your New Hampshire nursing license became a multi-state license, issued by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. Your multi-state license allows you to practice nursing in New Hampshire and in the other Compact states without applying for a license from the other Compact states, as long as you maintain your legal residence in New Hampshire.

Falsification of primary residence may result in disciplinary action by the Board

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are not a resident of New Hampshire?

  • If your primary residence is not in New Hampshire but is in another Compact State, your New Hampshire Nursing License was inactivated on January 1, 2006. In order to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must hold a current/active multi-state nursing license in the Compact state in which you reside. This license will allow you to practice nursing in New Hampshire and the other Compact states. If you wish to practice in NH you must obtain a current multi-state license.
  • For example: If you are a resident of Maine and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must, as of January 1, 2006, hold an active Maine multi-state license.
  • If your primary residence is not in New Hampshire and you reside in a non-Compact State, and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must maintain a current/active single state license through the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. This license will allow you to practice nursing in the state of New Hampshire.
  • For example: If you are a resident of Massachusetts, and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must, as of January 1, 2006, hold an active single state New Hampshire nursing license.

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Does the Nurse Licensure Compact change requirements for licensure in New Hampshire?

No. In order to renew your New Hampshire license, whether you practice in New Hampshire or in another compact state, you must meet all the continuing education and "active in practice" requirements currently specified in the law. You must have earned a minimum of 30 continuing education contact hours in the past 2 years and have been "active in practice" for a minimum of 400 hours in the past 4 years. You must also submit a criminal background check to the Board of Nursing prior to your license renewal.

How does the Nurse Licensure Compact address the varying scopes of nursing practice in each state?

You must comply with the practice regulations of the state in which the care is provided. Any nurse who provides care to a patient in New Hampshire is accountable for complying with the practice laws and regulations that are described in the New Hampshire Nurse Practice Act. If you reside in New Hampshire but provide care in another compact state, you must comply with the practice regulations of the state in which you provide care. This accountability is similar to the motor vehicle driver (driver's license compact) who must obey the driving laws in the state where he or she is driving. In fact, all nurses are accountable for this; it is not unique to the Nurse Licensure Compact. Keep in mind that nursing practice is not limited to patient care, and includes all nursing practice as defined in each state's practice laws.

Are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) included in the Nurse Licensure Compact?

No, advanced practice nurses are not included in the New Hampshire Nurse Licensure Compact legislation.

Are Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) or Medication Nursing Assistants (MNAs) included in the Nurse Licensure Compact?

No, Licensed Nursing Assistants and Medication Nursing Assistants are not included in the Nurse Licensure Compact.

Will NH continue to issue temporary licenses to new graduate nurses and to nurses applying for NH license by endorsement?

Yes, NH will continue to issue temporary licenses. However, as of January 1, 2006, all temporary licenses issued by NH are single-state licenses allowing the individual to practice only in New Hampshire a maximum of 120 days. When the licensing process is complete, and a permanent license is issued, the license will become a multi-state license if the individual meets are the requirements for a multi-state license.

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How will an employer know if a nurse's license is valid?

As it is under single-state licensure models, it is the responsibility of the employer to verify licensure at all significant times of change in status of nurses they employ. To validate a New Hampshire license, please utilize the online verification tool on our web site. To learn whether a NH nursing license is a multi-state or single-state license, you must connect to the national data base by going to www.nursys.com.

What if I am a Civil Employee working in a Federal facility and not a member of the military or public health service corp?

To validate a non-resident multi-state license, please contact the jurisdiction in which the license is held, and follow the verification process for that jurisdiction. Web site addresses for the other boards of nursing can be accessed by going to the National Council State Boards of Nursing web site, www.ncsbn.org. Employers may also electronically access the national licensing data information system called NURSYS. Basic licensure information as well as disciplinary history for licensees is provided through NURSYS at www.nursys.com. There is a $5.00 fee for this service for employers. Payment must be made by credit card

What about a licensee who has been disciplined by a Board of Nursing?

A licensee is only eligible for a multi-state license if the person's license is in "good-standing" If a nurse has been disciplined and is working under a settle agreement with stipulations, the nurse is only eligible for a single-state license.

How do you know if a license is in "good-standing"?

Licensees and employers can verify discipline status by accessing the on-line verification system. Employers can verify licensure for individuals licensed in other compact and non-compact states at www.nursys.com.

What about licensees who are currently enrolled in the "Road to Recovery" program in New Hampshire?

Licensees enrolled in the Road to Recovery program in NH will most likely be granted a single state only license that allows practice only in NH. However, there may be circumstances in which another compact state will agree to allow the licensee to practice in a different compact state.

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How does the Nurse Licensure Compact affect my APRN license?

If you are licensed in New Hampshire as an APRN:

  • And you live in New Hampshire: You must maintain your New Hampshire RN license and APRN license and comply with the same licensing requirements as you have always done. You may provide care in the RN scope of practice in other compact states, but you may only practice advanced practice nursing in New Hampshire (or in another state in which you maintain an APRN license).
  • And you live in a compact state other than New Hampshire (such as Maine): You must obtain a multi-state RN license in the compact state in which you reside, and comply with all the licensing requirements established by that state. In order to practice in New Hampshire in the APRN role, you must
    • maintain a multi-state RN license in the compact state in which you live;
    • maintain your New Hampshire APRN license; and,
    • comply with New Hampshire APRN licensing requirements, including certification, continuing education, and active in practice requirements.

You may practice in the RN role in any compact state, and you may practice advanced practice nursing in New Hampshire (or in another state in which you maintain an APRN license).

  • And you live in non-compact state (such as Vermont or Massachusetts): You must maintain your RN license and your APRN license in New Hampshire, and comply with the continuing education and active in practice requirements as you always have. You may practice in the RN role in New Hampshire (or in another non-compact state in which you maintain a RN license) and in the APRN role in New Hampshire (or in another compact or non-compact state in which you maintain an APRN license.)

Reference: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and Nscbn.org


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