7 questions you want answered as eNLC implementation approaches
The looming eNLC implementation deadline is coming January 19, less than 10 days away. For some travelers, the changes to the multistate licensing compact will be minimal, if they are felt at all. For others, the new eNLC implementation has the potential to be disruptive.
While the details about why the changes are being made are interesting, we know that what most travelers want to know is “How does this affect me?”
For most of you with multistate licenses from states already in the NLC, life won’t change. For some though, it will, and we break down how the move to the new eNLC might affect you below.
Which states are in the new eNLC?
There are 27: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Which of the original NLC states are not in the new eNLC?
Colorado, New Mexico, Rhode Island
What does the eNLC implementation mean for my license?
- If you were licensed in an original NLC state prior to the July 20, 2017* effective date of the eNLC, not much. You, luckily, have been grandfathered into the eNLC. For you, there are now five new states where you are allowed to practice–Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- If you were licensed in one of the original NLC states but after the July 20, 2017 effective date of the eNLC you will need to reapply for a multistate license if your current license does not meet the new eNLC requirements:
1. Meets the requirements for licensure in the home state (state of residency)
2. a. 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 no state or federal felony convictions
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
11. Has a valid United States Social Security number
- If you currently hold a license from one of the new states that has joined the eNLC then you will need to apply for a multistate license before you can practice outside of your home state.
- If you hold a license from one of the three original NLC states that has opted not to be part of the eNLC–Colorado, New Mexico, and Rhode Island–then your license only allows you to practice in one of those three states. They are still part of a now much smaller NLC, and that will be disbanded if two of those states decide to opt out of the NLC.
What if I’m a traveler with a license from an eNLC state at a placement in one of the three states that haven’t adopted eNLC?
Unfortunately, as of January 19, you will not have the authority to practice in those states any longer. To continue practicing you will need to apply for an individual state license in that state.
What if I’m a traveler with a license from one of the three remaining NLC states at a placement in a state that has adopted eNLC?
You will no longer be able to practice in that state once the eNLC is implemented on January 19. If you want to continue practicing in that state you will need to apply for an individual state license.
If I’m in a wrong state, is there any kind of emergency licensure available that will allow me to continue practicing?
There really isn’t a true emergency license. Some states do allow for a temporary license while they process the permanent license. Processing times for temporary licenses depend on the state. Some, like New Mexico, can process a temporary license in about two weeks. Other states, like Colorado, can take from six to eight weeks.
How can my recruiter help if I’m stuck in a state where I can’t practice?
Let your recruiter know as soon as possible if you suddenly find yourself in a state where you are unable to practice. He or she can either work with the hospital and help you navigate the licensing process or work quickly to find you a different assignment in a state where you are licensed to practice.
* July 20, 2017 was the date that the 26th state joined the eNLC. So that’s when the new rules went into effect. In order to give facilities and nurses time to react, those new rules weren’t going to be enforced until 6 months later. That’s why there’s an effective date and then an implementation date for enforcement starting in January.
Enjoy this story? You’ll be able to find more like it at Healthcare Traveler Today when the new site launches next month at hcttoday.com.