The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Multistate licenses for nurses: Does Pennsylvania have this option?

Since 2000, a group called the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has been working to facilitate mobility among nurses who seek to work in different states.

Fully half the states have now adopted legislation to make this possible. Under the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), nurses who get a multistate license are able to practice their profession in their home states as well other states that are part of the compact.

Does this option exist in Pennsylvania?

The short answer is no. If you are a nurse who is licensed in Pennsylvania, there is no seamless process for using your license in another state.

Pennsylvania is not alone in this position. There are 24 other states that have not joined the NLC. This means the country is evenly split between states that are in the NLC and states that aren’t.

But in at least one other state that is not part of the NLC, the legislature is considering a proposal to create a multistate license. That state is Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s interest in facilitating mobility among nurses is apparently being driven by a shortage of nurses there. There is also concern that telemedicine companies are avoiding Oklahoma because it isn’t part of a nursing license compact.

Of course, no matter what type of license you have, disciplinary issues can arise. It could be an addiction problem, a criminal charge or some other matter.

When that happens, it’s important to work with an attorney who is skilled at helping you to protect your privilege to practice your profession.


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