Nursing Licensure Compact: Benefits and Drawback

The Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) is an agreement that lets nursing licenses carry over across the states under the compact. On paper, this is great news for nurses looking to move or travel nurses looking to expand their options.

While this sounds like an excellent system on paper, there are still states that have not bought into the NLC. To understand why this is the case, we will go over the perceived advantages and disadvantages of the NLC.


 Less Needless Paperwork

Applying for a nursing license for every new state you visit can be seen as a cumbersome and outdated process. The NLC cuts through the paperwork and allows qualified nurses to pick up work in a new area as soon as possible.

Considering how fast and digitized the healthcare industry has become, this shift allows facilities to catch up with the times.

Addresses the Nursing Shortage

 The pandemic has accelerated a nursing shortage that has crippled various facilities. Certain areas of the country simply do not have enough manpower to resolve the cases in front of them.

In theory, the NLC tackles this problem head-on. Nurses from other states can relocate to areas in dire need for job opportunities, without having to repeat the licensure process from scratch.


States will have to Compromise

Certain states have unique educational requirements that, in their mind, ensure a certain level of quality from their HCPs. Accepting the NLC means accepting nurses who might not have these required continuing education units or documentation, which some states may be unwilling to budge for.

Not Universally Accepted

 Unfortunately, some hospitals will not recognize any cross-state nurses, even if they are technically under the NLC. Certain facilities may only look to accept nurses with local nursing licenses, as a matter of principle.

Before you relocate or apply for a particular job, make sure that that specific hospital accepts NLC-covered licenses.


The NLC is not perfect. There is no doubt that full implementation will require compromise and some extra administrative headaches, on the part of state governing bodies.

For the average working nurse, however, they present an overwhelming breadth of opportunities. Under the NLC, nurses can find work across state lines without having to go through red tape or extra licensure fees.

No longer are HCPs confined to the arbitrary borders of their states. With the right travel agency or the services of the VitaWerks staffing app, nurses can maximize their earning potential with the best rates in the country.

States have much to gain from the arrangement, as well. With the NLC, manpower can be reallocated to areas in dire need of nursing work.