how eNLC impacts travel nurses.

  • career advice
  • December 06, 2017

As of January 2018, a total of 29 states took legislative action to enhance the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) of 1998 — changes that took effect on January 19, 2018. Additional changes are likely, with legislation pending in eight states.

That brings us to our question, "Are you familiar with these changes and feeling informed?" If you're not, don't worry. Randstad has you covered. We’ve been partnering with nurses like you to drive excellence in healthcare for over 25 years, and we’ve got everything you need to know to plan ahead.

what’s a licensure compact?

Both the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which went into effect in January, and the existing nurse licensure compact are examples of “multistate licensure models.” Think of your driver’s license — if it was issued in California you can drive to New York without stopping for re-licensing in each state along the way. Likewise, while each state creates its own licensing requirements, nurses who are licensed in one compact state are able to practice in a party compact state without the need for an additional nursing license. In short, it gives you greater freedom to work.

“A national licensure program is exciting news for nurses as it provides even more state-to-state mobility, creating additional opportunities for their careers; but what’s most important about implementing a national licensure program is the positive impact it will have on patient safety and the delivery of patient care as it ensures consistent care nationwide.”

-Melissa Knybel, RN, Vice President of Clinical Services Compliance & Quality Management for Randstad Healthcare


what’s enhanced about the eNLC?

The eNLC added three things to the existing NLC:

  • Criminal background checks 
  • Restrictions on acquiring licenses for nurses with previous felony convictions 
  • Eleven uniform licensure requirements, which aim to mitigate state-to-state differences in licensing requirements

who’s affected?

Every nurse with a current compact licensure was impacted by the eNLC changes. 

which states have adopted eNLC?

Currently, 29 states have adopted eNLC: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. There is pending legislation in Rhode Island, the final original NLC state (HB 1188 and SB 1162). Finally, there is pending legislation to adopt eNLC in seven states that would be new to the compact — Massachusetts (SB 1162 and HB 1188), Michigan (HB 4938), New Jersey (SB 103 and AB 3917), Vermont (SB232), Kansas (HB 2496), Indiana (HB 1317) and Illinois (HB 4263)— that were not party to the original NLC compact.

impact on compact license nurses from eNLC states.

The good news for travel nurses with current compact licensure in eNLC states is that you’ll be automatically “grandfathered” into the new eNLC. That means you’ll have the ability to travel for work to the new compact states of Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming. However, you’ll no longer be able to travel for work to Rhode Island until Rhode Island passes the enhanced legislation for nurses.

impact on nurses from new eNLC states.

In order to travel and work in another compact state, you must apply for compact status in your home state. You must be able to prove residency (via your state driver's license) and submit to a fingerprint background check. You will not be eligible to apply for a single state license in another compact state but rather must secure compact status through your primary state.

key takeaways.

  • All nurses with a current compact licensure will be impacted by the eNLC changes.
  • Nurses from Rhode Island will see the greatest changes due to the current temporary loss of compact status.
  • Nurses from new eNLC states will not be eligible to apply for a single state license in another compact state but rather must secure compact status through their primary state.
  • The eNLC includes five new states: Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming — more great places to travel and work.

Want to learn more or continue the discussion on how this change will impact you personally? Contact Randstad Healthcare here or call a local recruiter. Want to search for nursing jobs across the country? Click here.