How would you like your Kentucky nursing license to be similar to your Kentucky driver’s license, enabling you to practice nursing throughout the country with your home state license, just as you can drive throughout the country with your Kentucky driver’s license? Some states have enacted an agreement allowing a nursing license from one state to serve as a privilege to practice nursing in other states. This agreement, or interstate compact, for mutual recognition is called the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).
Nurse Licensure Compact, mutual recognition, and interstate practice are all terms that refer to the same concept: allowing a nurse to obtain one state license that grants a “multi-state privilege to practice” across state lines. In order to achieve mutual recognition, each state must enact legislation authorizing the Nurse Licensure Compact. States entering the compact also adopt administrative rules and regulations for implementation of the compact.
Validate a Compact State License (outside of Kentucky) online through NurSys.
Contacts for Nurse Licensure Compact States
Click on a compact state to view contact and validation information
KBN's NLC Implementation Plan
The Governor signed the Kentucky Nurse Licensure Compact Bill (HB 102) on March 28, 2006. The NLC was implemented in Kentucky June 1, 2007. Regular updates will be posted here and in the KBN Connection.
As of June 2010, twenty-four states belong to the NLC. Several other states are planning to introduce legislation to join the compact. To date, the NLC only authorizes interstate practice for RNs and LPNs. ARNPs are still required to obtain authorization in each state where they practice.
Participating States in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)
How Does the Compact Work?
In the NLC, a nurse whose primary state of residence is a compact state (home state) is issued a license by that state and no longer needs an additional license to practice in other compact states (remote states). By virtue of the compact, the licensee is granted the “multi-state privilege to practice” in other compact states. The nurse who lives in a non-compact state is issued a nursing license that is valid only in the compact state (single state license). The licensee holding a single state license will not be granted the “multi-state privilege to practice” in any other compact state.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) (published by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing)
Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) Fact Sheet for Licensees and Nursing Students (published by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing)
The Nurse Licensure Compact Explained - five-minute video from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
With implementation of the NLC, please note that employers need to continue validating the license of a nurse whose primary state of residence is a compact state (other than Kentucky). See Contacts for Nurse Licensure Compact States for validation information.
KBN can take disciplinary action on a nurse's "privilege to practice." See Discipline on Privilege to Practice for additional information and a list of individuals who have/had disciplinary action on a privilege to practice in Kentucky.