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Nurse Licensure Compact FAQ

Frequently asked questions about enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) received by the Board of Nursing.

What is the mutual recognition model?

How is the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact implemented?

What states are presently members of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

How does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact work?

What determines primary residency for licensure purposes in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are a resident of New Hampshire?

How was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are not a resident of New Hampshire?

Does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact change requirements for licensure in New Hampshire?

How does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact address the varying scopes of nursing practice in each state?

Are APRNs included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

Are Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) or Medication Nursing Assistants (MNAs) included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

Will New Hampshire continue to issue temporary licenses to new graduate nurses and to nurses applying for New Hampshire license by endorsement?

How will an employer know if a nurse's license is valid?

What if I am a Civil Employee working in a Federal facility and not a member of the military or public health service corp?

What about a licensee who has been disciplined by a Board of Nursing?

How do you know if a license is in "good-standing"?

What other circumstances would require a licensee to hold a single state license in NH?

What about licensees who are currently enrolled in the "Road to Recovery" program in New Hampshire?

How does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact affect my APRN license?

back to topWhat is the mutual recognition model?

The mutual recognition model of nurse licensure allows a nurse to have one license (in the nurse's state of residency) and to practice in other states. Under mutual recognition, practice across state lines is allowed, whether physical or electronic, unless the nurse is under discipline or a monitoring agreement that restricts practice across state lines. In order to achieve mutual recognition, a state must enter into an interstate compact, called the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) also referred to in this article as the "Compact".

back to topHow is the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact implemented?

In order for a state to join the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, state legislators or regulators must enact the interstate compact into state law or regulation.

History regarding the initial Compact: Based on the passage of SB 170 which revised the Nurse Practice Act during the 2004-2005 legislative sessions, New Hampshire is now a member of the Compact and was implemented the Compact on January 1, 2006.

As of January 19, 2018, NH entered into the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Applicants that were licensed on or after that date were vetted based on the (eNLC) Uniform Licensure Requirements (ULR).

See link to rules: https://www.NCSBN.org/nlcrules.

What states are presently members of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

Legislation in 2016 introduced the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) which was passed as Statute July 20, 2017.

As of January 19, 2018, states in addition to New Hampshire that are members of the (eNLC) can be found at the link:   https://www.ncsbn.org/nurse-licensure-compact.htm.

back to topHow does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact work?

Your license to practice in the RN or LPN role is issued by the state in which you legally reside, and allows you to practice in any other state that is part of the Compact. If you move to a different "compact state", you must apply for a license from the board in your newly adopted state, and inactivate your license in your former "compact state". You may maintain a license to practice in any other non-compact state. You may not maintain a multi-state license in more than one compact state at a time.

back to topWhat determines primary residency for licensure purposes in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

"Primary state of residence" is defined by the compact as "the state of a person's declared fixed permanent and principal home or domicile for legal purposes". Evidence of a primary state of residence may be required. Sources used as evidence include, but are not limited to, driver's license, federal income tax return, military payroll documents, and voter registration. If you declare a change in your permanent residence from another compact state, you have 90 days to obtain a license in that state.

back to topHow was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are a resident of New Hampshire?

If you are a resident of New Hampshire, and hold an active New Hampshire nursing license, your New Hampshire nursing license became a multi-state license, issued by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. Your multi-state license allows you to practice nursing in New Hampshire and in the other Compact states without applying for a license from the other Compact states, as long as you maintain your legal residence in New Hampshire.

Falsification of primary residence may result in disciplinary action by the Board.

back to topHow was your New Hampshire Nursing License affected if you are not a resident of New Hampshire?

  • If your primary residence is not in New Hampshire but is in another Compact State, your New Hampshire Nursing License was inactivated on January 1, 2006. In order to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must hold a current/active multi-state nursing license in the Compact state in which you reside. This license will allow you to practice nursing in New Hampshire and the other Compact states. If you wish to practice in New Hampshire, you must obtain a current multi-state license.
  • For example: If you are a resident of Maine and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must, as of January 1, 2006, hold an active Maine multi-state license.
  • If your primary residence is not in New Hampshire and you reside in a non-Compact State, and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must maintain a current/active single state license through the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. This license will allow you to practice nursing in the state of New Hampshire.
  • For example: If you are a resident of Massachusetts, and you wish to continue to practice nursing in New Hampshire, you must, as of January 1, 2006, hold an active single state New Hampshire nursing license.

back to topDoes the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact change requirements for licensure in New Hampshire?

No. In order to renew your New Hampshire license, whether you practice in New Hampshire or in another compact state, you must meet all the continuing education and "active in practice" requirements currently specified in the law. You must have earned a minimum of 30 continuing education contact hours in the past 2 years and have been "active in practice" for a minimum of 400 hours in the past 4 years. You must also submit a criminal background check to the Board of Nursing prior to your license renewal.

back to topHow does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact address the varying scopes of nursing practice in each state?

You must comply with the practice regulations of the state in which the care is provided. Any nurse who provides care to a patient in New Hampshire is accountable for complying with the practice laws and regulations that are described in the New Hampshire Nurse Practice Act. If you reside in New Hampshire but provide care in another compact state, you must comply with the practice regulations of the state in which you provide care. This accountability is similar to the motor vehicle driver (driver's license compact) who must obey the driving laws in the state where he or she is driving. In fact, all nurses are accountable for this; it is not unique to the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. Keep in mind that nursing practice is not limited to patient care, and includes all nursing practice as defined in each state's practice laws.

back to topAre APRNs included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

No, APRNs are not included in the New Hampshire enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact legislation.

back to topAre Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) or Medication Nursing Assistants (MNAs) included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

No, Licensed Nursing Assistants and Medication Nursing Assistants are not included in the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact.

back to topWill New Hampshire continue to issue temporary licenses to new graduate nurses and to nurses applying for New Hampshire license by endorsement?

Yes, New Hampshire will continue to issue temporary licenses. However, as of January 1, 2006, all temporary licenses issued by New Hampshire are single-state licenses allowing the individual to practice only in New Hampshire a maximum of 120 days. When the licensing process is complete, and a permanent license is issued, the license will become a multi-state license if the individual meets are the requirements for a multi-state license.

Nurses with licensure from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont can apply for a temporary license while awaiting a permanent license. See Statute.

back to topHow will an employer know if a nurse's license is valid?

As it is under single-state licensure models, it is the responsibility of the employer to verify licensure at all significant times of change in status of nurses they employ. To validate a New Hampshire license, please utilize the License Verification tool on our website. To learn whether a New Hampshire nursing license is a multi-state or single-state license, you must connect to the national database.

back to topWhat if I am a Civil Employee working in a Federal facility and not a member of the military or public health service corp?

To validate a non-resident multi-state license, please contact the jurisdiction in which the license is held, and follow the verification process for that jurisdiction. Website addresses for the other boards of nursing can be accessed by going to the National Council State Boards of Nursing website. Employers may also electronically access the national licensing data information system called NURSYS. Basic licensure information as well as disciplinary history for licensees is provided through National Council State Boards of Nursing website. Employers may also electronically access the national licensing data information system called NURSYS. There is a $5.00 fee for this service for employers. Payment must be made by credit card

back to topWhat about a licensee who has been disciplined by a Board of Nursing?

A licensee is only eligible for a multi-state license if the person's license is in "good-standing" If a nurse has been disciplined and is working under a settle agreement with stipulations, the nurse is only eligible for a single-state license.

back to topHow do you know if a license is in "good-standing"?

Licensees and employers can verify discipline status by accessing the online verification system. Employers can verify licensure for individuals licensed in other compact and non-compact states at www.nursys.com.

back to topWhat other circumstances would require a licensee to hold a single state license in NH?

In addition to active discipline on a license, licensee applicants who have not graduated from a nursing program seeking to take the NCLEX exam; licensee applicants who have entered into an alternative monitoring program; Canadian nurses who seek to license without having taken NCLEX and licensee applicants who do not declare their primary residence as NH.

back to topWhat about licensees who are currently enrolled in the "Road to Recovery" program in New Hampshire?

Licensees enrolled in the Road to Recovery program in New Hampshire will most likely be granted a single state only license that allows practice only in New Hampshire. However, there may be circumstances in which another compact state will agree to allow the licensee to practice in a different compact state.

back to topHow does the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact affect my APRN license?

If you are licensed in New Hampshire as an APRN:

  • And you live in New Hampshire: You must maintain your New Hampshire RN license and APRN license and comply with the same licensing requirements as you have always done. You may provide care in the RN scope of practice in other compact states, but you may only practice advanced practice nursing in New Hampshire (or in another state in which you maintain an APRN license).
  • And you live in a compact state other than New Hampshire (such as Maine): You must obtain a multi-state RN license in the compact state in which you reside, and comply with all the licensing requirements established by that state. In order to practice in New Hampshire in the APRN role, you must
    • maintain a multi-state RN license in the compact state in which you live;
    • maintain your New Hampshire APRN license; and,
    • comply with New Hampshire APRN licensing requirements, including certification, continuing education, and active in practice requirements.

You may practice in the RN role in any compact state, and you may practice advanced practice nursing in New Hampshire (or in another state in which you maintain an APRN license).

  • And you live in non-compact state (such as Vermont or Massachusetts): You must maintain your RN license and your APRN license in New Hampshire, and comply with the continuing education and active in practice requirements as you always have. You may practice in the RN role in New Hampshire (or in another non-compact state in which you maintain a RN license) and in the APRN role in New Hampshire (or in another compact or non-compact state in which you maintain an APRN license.)

Reference: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and Nscbn.org


Office of Professional Licensure and Certification
121 South Fruit Street |  Concord, NH 03301
Main Telephone: (603) 271-2152