The Nursing Licensure Compact is an agreement that was designed in 2000. Through this agreement, states allow nurses with just one license to practice in other states that have signed on to the Compact. A total of 25 states have joined the agreement since its inception. In 2018, the agreement was modified. Now, it is known as the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact – or eNLC. Some changes were made surrounding requirements for licensure. One of the main differences is that all applicants must now undergo state and federal background checks, a condition that was not part of the original NLC. All nurses that have an eNLC will be able to practice in all other eNLC states. If a nurse practices in a state that is not part of this agreement, a single state license will need to be obtained.
There are 11 licensure requirements for nurses that have a multistate license. This includes submitting to federal and state criminal background checks, no state or federal felony convictions, and has passed an English proficiency exam. Twenty-five total states are part of the original NLC. These states are: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
As of May 2018, multiple states have enacted eNLC legislation. Those states are: 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. Other states have pending eNLC legislation. Those states are Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. The state of Kansas has a pending implementation of eNLC.