Compact Licensure 101: How Multistate Licenses Enable a Mobile Nursing Workforce

As healthcare becomes an increasingly mobile field, licensing boards are adjusting certain rules and regulations to accommodate the needs of their workforce while upholding standards of care.

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) license—commonly known as a compact license or multistate license—is one such example, allowing nurses to practice in multiple states under a single license. While compact licensure offers a new level of freedom and removes red tape, particularly for travel nurses and virtual practices, it also carries significant implications for the license verification process.

What is a Compact License?

The NLC removes complications for nurses practicing in multiple states by providing one license that covers their home state as well as other participating compact states. Nurses from NLC states are then able to work across state lines without worrying about applying for licensure in each state or being burdened with multiple renewal requirements and fees.

In order to obtain a compact license, a nurse must comply with the following guidelines:

  • They must reside in an NLC state and must declare an NLC state as their primary state of residency.
  • If relocating, they must change their state of primary residence to the new state of residence within 60 days, even if their compact license status does not change with the relocation.
  • They must be actively licensed as a registered nurse (RN), licensed professional nurse (LPN), or licensed vocational nurse (LVN).
  • They must meet any requirements for licensure held by their home state. However, when practicing, they will also be held to the standards of the state where the patient or practice is located.

Compact licenses also allow nurses to provide telehealth services to patients across the country without having to obtain additional licenses. Many types of nurses can benefit from compact licensure, including primary care nurses, case managers, transport nurses, school and hospice nurses, and travel nurses. However, multistate license verification comes with its own unique challenges.

The Challenges of Verifying Compact Licenses

Verifying a nurse’s compact license status can be tricky for a number of reasons. For starters, the NLC can involve complicated legal agreements, and variations between states can be hard to navigate. This is partly due to the multiple regulatory authorities and boards that exist across states, each with a different method of storing documentation and license verification. In addition, data transfer between states is often sluggish and prone to errors.

To simplify the process of compact license verification, ProviderTrust has implemented a direct integration with Nursys, the only national database for verification of nurse licensure, discipline, and practice privileges for RNs, LPNs, and LVNs. ProviderTrust clients who receive license verification services will also receive verified compact status for nurse licenses within our central data source, removing the burden of verifying compact licenses separately through Nursys.

This integration with Nursys will allow ProviderTrust to consistently and proactively determine whether a nurse’s license is compact. Before this enhancement, our clients had to manually enter a compact license status. Now, the entire process is automated so that clients receive compact license information as a seamless part of the license verification process.

ProviderTrust’s NLC Promise

This recent enhancement to our fully automated Primary Source Verification (PSV) system marks a significant advancement in compliance technology across various healthcare sectors. The integration promises to provide accurate insights into traditionally hard-to-track professionals, elevating the standards of compliance within the healthcare industry.

The integration of NLC verification within ProviderTrust’s system not only simplifies processes but also ensures the accuracy and quality of license data. This step prioritizes patient safety by guaranteeing that healthcare providers possess the necessary credentials and permissions to practice across compact states. Moreover, our system seamlessly integrates into existing workflows via a bi-directional secure file transfer protocol (SFTP), ensuring a smooth assimilation into various operational systems.

In the realm of staffing, these advancements represent a significant step towards ensuring that only properly credentialed nurses deliver patient care. Our automated NLC verification system will ensure compliance while also keeping the nurse directory up-to-date with real-time NLC status updates.

ProviderTrust’s commitment to improving data integrity through our automated NLC verification system demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing compliance challenges. We hope that this solution not only meets regulatory standards but also improves your organization’s operational efficiency and, above all, ensures patient safety.

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