Nurse Licensure Compact
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".
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.
As of June 2010, the following states in addition to New Hampshire are members of the Compact:
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.
"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 90 days to obtain a license in that state.
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
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.
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.
No, advanced practice nurses are not included in the New Hampshire Nurse Licensure Compact legislation.
No, Licensed Nursing Assistants and Medication Nursing Assistants are not included in the Nurse Licensure Compact.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
If you are licensed in New Hampshire as an APRN:
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).
Reference: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and Nscbn.org
New Hampshire Board of Nursing
121 South Fruit Street | Concord, NH 03301
Nursing (603) 271-2323 | Nursing Assistant (603) 271-6282
Fax (603) 271-6605