The Nurse Licensure Compact (mutual recognition) allows a nurse to have one license (in his or her state of residency) and to practice (both physically and electronically) in other states which have enacted the nurse licensure compact, subject to each state’s practice laws and regulations. Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted.
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. The compact includes registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical or vocational nurses (LPN/LVNs). The Arkansas Legislature passed the Nurse Licensure Compact in 1999 and implemented it July 1, 2000. All Arkansas RN and LPN licenses are compact licenses unless the phrase “Valid Only in Arkansas” is printed on the license.
In 2002, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Delegate Assembly approved the adoption of model language of a licensure compact for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Only those states that have adopted the RN and LPN/VN Nurse Licensure Compact may implement a compact for APRNs. On March 15, 2004, Utah became the first state to enter into the APRN Compact. Iowa followed in 2005. At this time no date has been set for the implementation of the APRN Compact.
General Information about Nurse Licensure Compact