How to Obtain Your Nursing License

Excited about your next assignment? So are we!

As a travel nurse, chances are you will be working in locations with a variety of different licensing policies, so taking the time to research your travel nursing destination’s specific licensing requirements is important. Obtaining and maintaining nursing licenses in multiple states will provide you with greater opportunities to take nursing assignments with higher pay rates in your desired locations.

We understand that keeping track of each state’s licensing requirements can be difficult, but your family here at GIFTED Healthcare is here to help.

We created the following “cheat sheet” to help make life a little simpler. GIFTED Healthcare is dedicated to supporting our nurses, so please feel free to reach out to a GIFTED recruiter if you have any questions or concerns about obtaining a travel nursing license.

Required Program Qualifications

The necessary qualifications to obtain a nursing license vary by state. It’s important to be proactive when obtaining a nursing license in a new state, as some states require 30 days or more to process an application. To learn more about each state’s specific requirements and processing times, see the list below:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

The Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact

The Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) is applicable to any nurse who resides in one of the participating 31 States. Active nurses residing in an eNLC state may obtain a multistate license, allowing them to practice nursing in any other eNLC state without obtaining any additional licenses. This agreement forms the Compact State Alliance. There are several requirements for nurses to obtain a license in a compact state. In order to work in any compact state, a nurse must:

  1. Have proof of residence in an eNLC state
  2. Provide a current and active RN license in said state

To learn more about the eNLC, click here.

The following states are currently participating in the eNLC

Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
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
Wyoming

Walk-Through States

Walk-Through States allow nurses to obtain licenses quicker than most states. In Walk-Through States, nursing licenses can often be obtained in a matter of hours, with processing times that rarely exceed 48 hours. By issuing temporary nursing licenses, Walk-Through States allow nurses to practice immediately while waiting for a permanent license. Temporary licenses are valid for 1-6 months.

The following states are considered Walk-Through States:

Arizona
Louisiana
Missouri
South Carolina

Other States: Licensure by Endorsement

The following states are not compact states or Walk-Through States, and their licensing requirements vary. Refer to the list below to view all necessary qualifications and information to obtain a nurse license in these states:

Alabama
Alaska
California
Connecticut
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Minnesota
Nevada
New Jersey
New York
Ohio

 

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