Oct 10, 2022
RN Licensing Tools
Nursing License: Time Frames & Compact States
Got your heart set on a travel nursing job in California or Florida? You’ll facilitate a smooth assignment if you obtain your nursing license in advance. Some states take longer than others, but with planning and the support of your recruiter, you’ll make it to your dream destinations.
How can I expedite my nursing license in all states?
You can apply for a “compact license” that is honored in 37 states under the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). Your permanent residence must be in a compact state, otherwise you’ll need to apply for a license in the state where you wish to work.
What are “compact” states?
Several states participate in what is called the extended Nurse Licensure Compact. Getting a license in a compact state means that you can work in other compact states without needing an additional license. This may affect your decision on where you take assignments, especially if you are working with tight time frames.
Pending NLC Legislation:
- New York
What are “walk-through” states?
Walk-through states may issue a temporary nursing license in as quickly as one hour to one day that will enable an RN to practice while awaiting a permanent license. These temporary licenses are typically valid for 30 days to six months, depending upon the issuing state. Many non-walk-through states also offer temporary licenses, subject to varying qualifications. Temporary licenses are usually issued in a reduced time frame and are valid for less than a year.
Nurse Licensure Guidance – Tool for state-specific nurse licensure guidance
Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) – NLC member states and links to states’ nursing regulatory boards
Nursys® – Look up and verify your RN license status
Contact Info for State Boards of Nursing – NCSBN: National Council of State Boards of Nursing
State Nursing License – Turnaround Times
The following chart provides information on the expected time frames for licensing in each state. Note that licensing times are changing by the day during the Coronavirus pandemic. Rules may vary by facility and by state. Your recruiter can give you the up-to-the-minute details on licensure at the facilities that you are considering.
Time for Permanent Licensure
|Arizona||YES *||2-4 weeks|
|Idaho||YES *||6 weeks|
|Louisiana||YES *||4-6 weeks|
|Missouri||YES *||2 weeks|
|New Hampshire||2 weeks|
|New Jersey||6-8 weeks|
|New Mexico||3-4 weeks|
|New York||PENDING||YES *||6-8 weeks|
|North Carolina||6-8 weeks|
|North Dakota||2-4 weeks|
|Rhode Island||4+ weeks|
|South Carolina||YES *||2 weeks|
|South Dakota||3-5 weeks|
|West Virginia||2 weeks|
* Special conditions may apply. Ask your recruiter for details.
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