Compact Nursing

What Is a Compact Nursing License and How to Apply for One?

What Is a Compact Nursing License and How to Apply for One? 1024 683 kupplinadmin

In the field of nursing, a license is extremely important. To practice as a registered nurse in the United States, you must first obtain your nursing license. Due in large part to the efforts of the Nurse Licensure Compact, the licensing process has become significantly more streamlined in recent years, allowing for more movement of nurses between states (NLC).

To help alleviate some of the licensing burdens, the NLC was established to permit registered nurses licensed in NLC member states to practice in other NLC member states without obtaining a new license. It’s reasonable to have questions about the details of obtaining a compact state nursing license, such as, “What is a compact nursing license?” and “How do I apply for a compact state nursing license?” We’ll explain all you need to know about the NLC license in depth.

Concordia University Texas is located in a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state, which means that students who complete the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in under 16 months will be eligible to work as registered nurses in any NLC state.

The last things you need to do before beginning your nursing career are earning your license and passing the NCLEX. You can increase your chances of finding a job in a state that recognizes multistate licenses by attending nursing school in a large, populous state like Texas.

Let’s start with the basics of filling out an application for a compact nursing license, as doing so is a simple process.

1. B.S.N. Degree Requirement

The first step toward obtaining a small nursing license is completing a bachelor’s degree program, such as the accelerated BSN track offered by Concordia University Texas. CTX’s hybrid program prepares future nurses by combining traditional classroom instruction with hands-on learning in simulated clinical settings.

License applications need not be submitted to the state where one’s educational institution is located unless the graduate intends to take up employment there.

2. Choose a nursing location: Pick a State that Is Not Too Big

Selecting to pursue licensure in a Compact Member State is the next step in the process of applying for a compact license. Before applying for your nursing license, you need to choose the state where you intend to reside and work.

To see a full breakdown of the compact and non-compact states, check out the NLC map. In order to vote and get a driver’s license, you have to be a legal resident of the state. A compact license from Texas is required to practice nursing in any other compact state.

Consider your future residence and place of employment when determining where to submit your license application.

Apply for your license in the state where you will be living and working.

You only need to apply for your multistate compact license in your home state if you live there and work in another compact state.

You should apply for your license in the state where you will be working if you will be residing in a compact state but working in a non-compact state.

Apply for your license in the state where you plan to work if you live in a non-compact state but will be doing your job duties in another non-compact state.

Apply for a compact multistate license in the state where you will be working if you currently reside in a non-compact state but will be working in a compact state in the future.

3. Get Your Nursing License Through Testing and Evaluation

You can begin the application procedure once you have decided which state you will submit your request to. If you’re just starting out in the nursing profession, you’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) before you can even apply for a license to practice. This is known as an application for licensure by examination and approval to test (ATT).

Here’s how it usually works out: first, you submit an application to the state board of nursing, and if everything checks out, you’re allowed to take the licensing exam for that state. At last, you sit for the exam; if you do well, the state will issue you a license to practice nursing.

4. Pass the NCLEX Exam

Once you complete your application for licensure by exam and ATT, you can sit for the NCLEX in any state. Taking the test in the same state as your intended license application is not required. Your nursing license will be issued once you have finished the exam and been informed that you have passed.

5. Get Your License, ABSN@CTX Students

First-time nursing licenses are awarded to those who successfully complete the NCLEX. If you are a nurse and have obtained a multistate license in one compact state, you are also legally allowed to work in any other compact state where nursing is permitted.

Instructions for Obtaining a Driver’s License in Another State

Licensure by endorsement is the process of obtaining a nursing license in one state by having that license recognized in another. This is similar to a license transfer in that it eliminates the need to retake the NCLEX.

We’ll talk about how to handle the specifics of transferring your nursing license because that’s a complicated process.


If you move from one compact state to another, you will need to obtain a new compact license in the state where you will be living.

If you are relocating from a compact state to a non-compact state, you will be required to obtain a single-state license in the non-compact state.

If you move from one non-compact state to another, you will need to obtain a new single-state license valid in the new location. Multiple single-state licenses are permissible.

You can keep your one and only single-state license if you move from a non-compact state to a compact state, but you will need to apply for a new compact license in the new state.

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