The Nurse Licensure Compact is a modern licensure solution for the 21st century. The Nurse Licensure Compact allows for nurses in participating states to have one multistate license with the ability to practice and communicate with patients or students-both physically and electronically.
WHY BECOME A COMPACT STATE?
- Telehealth crosses state boundaries, and nurses routinely call patients in other states to do follow-up care after hospital discharge.
- Nurse faculty routinely teach students in online nursing programs living in other states.
- Nurse care coordinators routinely offer advice and consultation to members of insurance providers.
- Currently, nurses are required to be licensed in the state where the recipient of nursing practice is located at the time of service.
The compact removes the burden and costly process of obtaining a single license in each state of practice and protects nurses from ‘practicing nursing without a license’ in other states when utilizing Telehealth.
WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR NURSES TO RECEIVE A MULTISTATE LICENSE?
- An applicant in a state that is part of the Compact must meet all of the following UNIFORM LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS:
- Meet the requirement for licensure in the state of residency (home state).
Illinois would retain full authority to set licensure standards and rules for Illinois licensed nurses.
- Pass the national licensure exam, NCLEX.
All licensed nurses in all states must pass the same exam, which in turn requires equivalent education.
- Have a federal fingerprint criminal background check.
Illinois has long required a background check linked to nurse licensure. All contiguous states require such. The few states not requiring a background check will not be able to join the Compact.
- Hold an active, unencumbered license (without active discipline, not participating in an alternative program, no misdemeanor convictions, and has not been convicted or found guilty of a felony offense).
Illinois Nurse Practice Act reflects these requirements.
HOW DOES THE COMPACT ASSURE DPR AND EMPLOYERS THAT A NURSE WITH A MULTISTATE LICENSE MEETS THE UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION?
- NURSYS, the only national database for verification of nurse licensure, discipline and practice privileges for nurses.
Illinois is a member of NURSYS. ANYONE can access such information, including potential employers.
- The Compact establishes an Interstate Commission to oversee compliance of states participating in the Compact.
Illinois, as would all Compact states, has one member of the Commission, the Nursing Act Coordinator. The Commission has no authority over individual nurses’ license.
Illinois would join 34 other states in becoming a member of the Compact. The multistate licensure protects Illinois nurses when practicing across state lines whether in direct care or using Telehealth to offer nursing advice or education.
Send a letter to your legislator to let him or her know that you support the NLC!