Professional License Lawyer in North Carolina

How Do I Join the NC Nursing Interstate Compact?

Nurse Practitioner Regulation

How Do I Join the NC Nursing Interstate Compact?

What Does a Multi-State Licensure Privilege Mean?

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) compares a multi-state license to a driver’s license because nurses are able to practice in other compact states without having to obtain additional licenses under the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). A multi-state license means that a nurse who has a primary state of residence in an NLC state is issued one license that will allow him or her to practice in any other NLC-member state.

It is important to know that just like a driver’s license, the NLC requires the nurse to adhere to the laws and rules of any state that the nurse works in, even if these rules are different than the state the nurse first obtained their license in. Nurses who live in North Carolina and hold an NC nursing license will have the ‘privilege to practice’ in any of the other compact states. Only when a nurse moves to a compact states is the nurse required to obtain a license in that state.

What is the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

Recently, the NCSBN has transitioned from the NLC to the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). All states from the original compact—with the exception of Rhode Island—have enacted legislation to adopt the eNLC. If you have an NLC multi-state license you will be automatically grandfathered into the eNLC . You do not need to do anything else unless you move to another state. However, if you a new nurse that lives in North Carolina and are applying for licensure, you will need to meet eNLC’s 11 uniform licensure requirements to obtain your compact license. It is important to note that the eNLC is only for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses.

How Do I Obtain a Multistate License?

In order to apply for a multi-state nursing license under the eNLC, the NCBON requires that you meet the following criteria:

*Declare North Carolina as your primary state of residency

*Be actively licensed as an RN, LPN, or LVN

*Meet any requirements for a nursing license in NC

According to the NCSBN, the eNLC also has the following additional requirements, called uniform licensure requirements:

  • Meet the requirements for licensure in your primary state of residency
  • Graduated from either a board-approved education program or an international education program
  • Passed an English proficiency examination
  • (if you are a graduate of an international education program or English is not your native language)
  • Have passed the National Council Licensure Examination or predecessor exam
  • Are eligible for an NC nursing license without active discipline
  • Have submitted state and federal fingerprint-based background checks
  • You have no convictions or found guilty of a felony offense
  • No misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing
  • Are not currently a participant in an alternative program
  • You have self-disclosed current participation in an alternative program
  • You have a valid U.S. Social Security number

If you meet all of these requirements, go to the NURSE GATEWAY to upgrade your license and follow the instructions to apply for a multi-state license.

Nothing in this blog post is legal advice or establishes the attorney-client relationship.  This is for informational purposes only.  If you’d like to learn more about professional licensing issues in North Carolina check out our site at or our YouTube site here.  919-521-8810 is the direct line to North State Law.