How to Transfer Your RN License to Another State

Learn how to seamlessly transfer your RN license to another state using the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). Understand NLC eligibility, endorsement and reciprocity processes, and common transfer requirements.
How to Transfer Your RN License to Another State

Are you a Registered Nurse (RN) who is moving to another state? Unsure of the steps to transfer your RN license? The process for transferring RN licenses from one state to another depends on the states involved. Therefore, the procedure may differ from one state pair to another. However, the following information can help you navigate the process.

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

The NLC is a program that allows RNs licensed in a compact state to practice in any other compact state without obtaining an additional license. As of 2023, 34 states participate in the NLC:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. Colorado
  6. Connecticut
  7. Delaware
  8. Florida
  9. Georgia
  10. Idaho
  11. Iowa
  12. Kansas
  13. Kentucky
  14. Maine
  15. Maryland
  16. Mississippi
  17. Missouri
  18. Montana
  19. Nebraska
  20. Nevada
  21. New Hampshire
  22. New Mexico
  23. North Carolina
  24. North Dakota
  25. Oklahoma
  26. Oregon
  27. Rhode Island
  28. South Carolina
  29. South Dakota
  30. Tennessee
  31. Texas
  32. Utah
  33. Vermont
  34. Virginia
  35. Washington
  36. West Virginia
  37. Wyoming

NLC Eligibility

To be eligible for the NLC RN program, you must:

  • Reside and work in an NLC state.
  • Hold a valid and active RN license in an NLC state.
  • Renew your NLC license according to the rules of your state of residence.

Transfers by Endorsement and Reciprocity

If you move to a non-compact state, you will need to apply for a new license in your new state. This also applies to NLC RN licenses. If you have an NLC RN license, you will be given 30 to 90 days to accomplish this, depending on your new state's transfer rules.

In any case, transfer procedures vary depending on the state you are moving to. However, the most common programs for transferring RN licenses from one state to another are through endorsement or reciprocity. To determine which of these programs you are eligible for and the requirements you will need to meet, contact the Board of Nursing in your new state.

Common Transfer Requirements

While many of the requirements for transfers through endorsement and reciprocity are standard, some states have their own additional criteria. License transfer fees can also vary from state to state. Here are some of the most common transfer requirements you will encounter:

  • Completion and submission of a transfer application
  • Payment of your new state's RN license transfer fee
  • Submission of a copy of your current RN license and state-issued ID
  • Submission to a criminal background check
  • Completion of continuing education coursework (some states)
  • Submission of proof of current employment as an RN
  • Completion of a state-regulated RN nursing exam (some states)

If you need to transfer your RN license to another state, you can do so through programs such as the Nurse Licensure Compact, Endorsement, or Reciprocity. Contact the Board of Nursing in your new state for specific instructions.

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