NCSBN / Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

​Administered by the National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is an interstate agreement that allows nurses (RNs and LPNs/VNs) to practice with one multistate license in all states that are part of the NLC. The nurse would hold the multistate (compact) license in their primary state of residence. APRN licenses are not currently in a compact.

Kentucky is a member of the NLC. There is no additional fee or application for a compact license in Kentucky. If a Kentucky licensed nurse is eligible for a compact license and declares KY as their primary state of residence, it will automatically be multi-state.

To see if your Kentucky license has multi-state privileges, please validate your license on our website.

​IMPORTANT: New NLC Residency Rule (effective Jan. 2, 2024)​

Starting Jan. 2, a new Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) rule has gone into effect. Nurses relocating to another compact state now have 60 days from the time they move to apply for a new license by endorsement in a new primary state of residence (PSOR). The new rule reads:

 402(2) A multistate licensee who changes primary state of residence to another party state shall apply for a multistate license in the new party state within 60 days. 

Just as a new driver's license is required each time we move, nurses have always been required to apply for a new compact (multistate) license when relocating and changing PSOR, but this new rule gives a hard deadline for this application to be filed. Nurse employers will benefit from this update by ensuring that all new employees are appropriately licensed within a given timeframe.​

Helpful FAQs​ and a brief video about the new rule are available online. 

Nurses can enroll at no cost in Nursys eNotify to receive notifications related to license renewals at www.nursys.com.

For more information, visit www.nlc.gov or email nursecompact@ncsbn.org

Information Regarding Licensure

Licensure requirements are aligned in NLC states, so all nurses applying for a multistate license are required to meet those same standards, including submission to federal and state fingerprint-based criminal background checks.

Kentucky is a compact state; however, not all Kentucky licenses are multi-state, compact licenses. To validate if a KY license has multi-state privileges, conduct a search through the KBN online validation

To be eligible for a multi-state, compact license an applicant must meet the foll​owing criteria:

  1. Meets the requirements for licensure in the home state (state of residency);
  2. Has graduated from a board-approved education program; or b. Has graduated from an international education program (approved by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable country and verified by an independent credentials review agency);
  3. Has passed an English proficiency examination (applies to graduates of an international education program not taught in English or if English is not the individual’s native language);
  4. Has passed an NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® Examination or predecessor exam;
  5. ​Is eligible for or holds an active, unencumbered license (i.e., without active discipline);
  6. Has submitted to state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks;
  7. Has not been convicted or found guilty, or has entered into an agreed disposition, of a felony offense under applicable state or federal criminal law;
  8. Has no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing (determined on a case-by-case basis);
  9. Is not currently a participant in an alternative program;
  10. Is required to self-disclose current participation in an alternative program; and
  11. Has a valid United States Social Security number.

Primary State of Residence

A nurse may hold a multistate license, issued by the home state/primary state of residence, in only one party state at a time.

For compact purposes, primary state of residence is not related to property ownership in a given state. It is about one’s legal residency status. Everyone has legal documents such as a driver’s license/ID, vehicle registration, voter registration, W2, federal income tax return or military form no. 2058.

Compact state nurses who have multiple residences may designate only one state as their primary state of residence, and should evidence that choice in the foregoing types of records. Verification of these types of records will be required.

If a nurse changes their primary state of residence by moving between two compact states, they are expected to apply for multi-state licensure in their new home state, and the multistate license issued by the prior home state will be deactivated in accordance with applicable rules adopted by the Commission. A nurse should not wait until the former license is about to expire before they apply for the multi-state license in their new primary state of residence.

For additional information, review the NCSBN NLC Fact Sheet regarding Moving to Another State.

Current NLC States

For a map of current NLC states, visit the NLC website.


APRN Compact

​Currently, Kentucky is not a member of the APRN compact. The APRN Compact, adopted August 12, 2020, allows an advanced practice registered nurse to hold one multistate license with a privilege to practice in other compact states. The APRN Compact will be implemented when seven states have enacted the legislation.


Additional Information

For Additional information, please refer to the NLC Fact Sheets & Resources.


NURSYS E-Notify

Nursys E-Notify is a FREE automated license and discipline notification service for APRNs, RNs and LPNs (from participating boards of nursing) offered by NCSBN for institutions and/or individual nurses.


Federal/Military Nurses and Spouses

NLC Information for Federal/Military Nurses and Spouses





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