A Little History
Along with a name change, the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) has gone through positive changes since its enactment nearly two decades ago. It has recently evolved into the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). The new arrangement has elevated the standards for licensure, requiring state and federal background checks along with 10 other provisions. Additionally, due to the streamlined license obtention process, travel nurses have been able to receive their licenses more easily.
- Saving Money: Travel nurses by nature work in multiple states. In the past, nurses were required to get state specific licenses. This could be costly for travel nurses because each state has its own set of fees that can range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Having the eNLC in place allows nurses to simply hold one multistate license. It’s important that this license doesn’t break the bank because it is not the only thing you will be paying for. Oftentimes, your housing is up to you, so you’ll want to save the extra dollars where you can.
- More Options to Work: Once nurses obtain their licenses they can begin assisting patients of the eNLC states. Nurses have the option to work physically in said states or to practice telehealth. Telehealth uses a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services. A common use for telehealth includes counseling and regularly scheduled “visits” with patients requiring mental health attention.
- Aid Natural Disaster Relief: Oftentimes, travel nurses tend to victims of natural disasters and provide aid in the state of emergency. The eNLC expands the borders and makes it much easier for nurses from other states to join the efforts. Recently, travel nurses tended to those in Houston who needed attention due to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. This would have been a lot more complicated if Texas wasn’t an eNLC state.
Obtaining a Multistate License
As long as you declare residency in an eNLC state, are actively registered as a nurse, and can meet the requirements, you should have no trouble acquiring your license. And in some states, nurses with an original NLC multistate license have been grandfathered into the eNLC without further action necessary. This saves travel nurses time. For those looking to move quickly from one 13-week contract to the next, there will be no delay. This is very beneficial for travel nurses who live close to bordering states. I’m sure those of you in the northeast are happy about this one!
There are currently 29 states in the eNLC. And with the recent addition of Kansas and Louisiana in July, more than 60% of the nation will be on board. As if that isn’t enough, nine more states have legislation pending. Didn’t you choose the travel nursing profession to work from the Atlantic to the Pacific?
What This Means for Louisiana and Kansas
As of July, Louisiana and Kansas can now easily attract talented professionals as well as fill shortages in their healthcare community. Joining the eNLC opens the doors for nurses like you to find employment as well as pursue job opportunities in any of the other compact states. This allows a free flow of information and talent in places that need it. With LA and KS joining, the eNLC will include all of the states between Mississippi and Idaho. That's a big area to choose from!
Patients, states, and nurses alike can reap the benefits of the eNLC and its forthcoming expansion. As a travel nurse, the eNLC makes your life better and as of July 2019, you will have access to 31 states across the country. Indiana and Alabama are soon to follow, pending implementation. With these updates, you can be reassigned quickly and get going on your next adventure. So, if you are ready for a job in any of the eNLC states, get your compact license and pack your bags!