The enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) was implemented Jan. 19. 2018, with a membership of 29 states. Two additional states, Kansas and Louisiana, passed NLC legislation in 2018 and set implementation for 2019. “This opened a new and exciting era for nursing licensure,” commented Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators Chair, Sue Tedford, MNSc, APRN, RN, executive director, Arkansas State Board of Nursing. “The eNLC not only benefits nurses with increased mobility to practice, it also increases access to care for patients. Additionally, new provisions in the eNLC enhance patient safety.”
The eNLC, now known as the NLC, allows for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in person or via telehealth in both their home state and other NLC states. Licensing standards are aligned in NLC states so all nurses applying for a multistate license are required to meet the same standards, which include a federal and state criminal background check that will be conducted for all applicants for multistate licensure.
The NLC also enables nurses to provide telehealth nursing services to patients located across the country without having to obtain additional licenses. In the event of a disaster, nurses from multiple states can easily respond to supply vital services. Additionally, almost every nurse, including primary care nurses, case managers, transport nurses, school and hospice nurses, among many others, needs to routinely cross state boundaries to provide the public with access to nursing services, and a multistate license facilitates this process.