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ASBN - Nurse Licensure Compact

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

Historically, in 1999, the Arkansas Legislature passed the original Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and it was implemented in July 1, 2000. The Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) referred to as the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is an updated version of the previous NLC. The NLC allows for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) to have one multistate license, with the privilege to practice physically, electronically or telephonically in both their home state (Primary State of Residence) and other states that have joined the NLC.

The Arkansas legislature passed the new NLC at the 2017 General Assembly and this allowed the state to enter into the NLC. The official implementation date for the new NLC was January 19, 2018. There are new features in the provisions of the legislation of the NLC. Licensing standards are aligned in NLC states so all applicants for a multistate nursing license are required to meet the same standards. One of those requirements includes that in order to obtain a multistate license, new licensees must meet 11 uniform licensure requirements as identified here - Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License. So just because a nurse is licensed in an NLC state, it does not mean a multistate license was automatically issued. The nurse may just have a single state license. The status of a nursing license can be verified for participating states (Arkansas is a participating state) at If the original state of nurse licensure is not a Nursys® participant, contact the original state licensing board.

Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted. In order to achieve mutual recognition, each state must enact legislation authorizing the NLC. States entering the compact also adopt administrative rules and regulations for implementation of the compact.

Nurses must follow the laws and regulations of the state in which nursing practice occurs. In the case of electronic practice (telenursing), nurses must adhere to the practice standards of the state in which the client receives care. Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)

Historically, in 2002, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Delegate Assembly approved the adoption of model language of a licensure compact for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Only those states that have adopted the RN and LPN/VN enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact may implement a compact for APRNs. On March 15, 2004, Utah became the first state to enter into the APRN Compact. Iowa followed in 2005. At this time no date has been set for the implementation of the APRN Compact.

APRNs are not issued a license under the NLC. The APRN must have an active Arkansas APRN license or a multistate license with the privilege to practice in Arkansas.

General Information about the NLC

Did You Know?

Related Videos

Fact Sheets

Resources for Important NLC Rule Changes


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