Disease spreads independently of state boundaries. For proof, you only have to look at COVID-19, which is devastating heavily populated areas across the country. Hospitals in places like Arizona and Florida are short-staffed and in desperate need of licensed medical personnel. Dozens of states have enacted temporary licensing waivers, permitting out-of-state healthcare providers to practice on a temporary basis. This commonsense response is not unlike the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). 

The NLC allows a nurse with a compact license, or multistate license, to practice in a participating state without having to obtain additional qualifications. Looking for the compact state definition? A compact state is any of the 33 states currently participating in the agreement. Under the NLC, a nurse in Texas could practice in Georgia, North Dakota, or any of the other states that have implemented NLC legislation, regardless of any emergency orders. 

The NLC allows nurses to pursue employment opportunities outside of their primary state, go where they are needed most, and most importantly, save lives.  

Is TX a Nurse Licensure Compact State?  
Yes, Texas is an NLC state. Nurses who apply for licensure with the nursing regulatory body (NRB) in Texas, register with Pearson VUE, and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) are awarded a compact license allowing them to practice in all NLC states, so long as they remain a Texas resident. Earning a compact license is an incredible accomplishment that can lead to a number of new, exciting opportunities in the nursing field, including the chance to become a traveling nurse.   

The Benefits of a Compact License 
Demand for traveling nurses is soaring due to COVID-19 hospitalizations. The Wall Street Journal reports that hospitals are willing to pay traveling nurses up to twice the usual hourly pay—as much as $140 an hour in one instance. Not that this wasn’t already a high-paying career: Traveling nurses earn $78,604 a year on average.  

With a compact license in Texas, nurses can increase their earning potential and help make a difference during one of the largest health emergencies this country has ever faced. However, the benefits of becoming a licensed nurse in Texas will last well beyond the current pandemic. With a compact license, a nurse can: 

  • Provide nursing services via telehealth to patients across the country.  
  • Cross state borders and provide nursing services in the event of a disaster.  
  • Refrain from obtaining additional nursing licenses and save on costs.  
  • Teach via distance education in other NLC states.  

While these benefits speak for themselves, there’s one additional benefit to holding a compact license.  

Join From Any NLC State  
The University of Texas Permian Basin offers an online RN to BS in Nursing program that prepares nurses for leadership and decision-making roles in patient care. As long as they hold a current, unencumbered RN license, nurses in Texas or any other NLC state can enroll in our program. Which states are part of the Nursing Licensure Compact? As mentioned, 33 states have implemented NLC legislation. They are: 

  • Alabama 
  • Arizona 
  • Arkansas 
  • Colorado 
  • Delaware 
  • Florida 
  • Georgia 
  • Idaho 
  • Illinois 
  • Iowa  
  • Kansas 
  • Kentucky  
  • Louisiana 
  • Maine 
  • Maryland 
  • Mississippi 
  • Missouri 
  • Montana 
  • Nebraska 
  • New Hampshire  
  • New Mexico 
  • North Carolina 
  • North Dakota 
  • Oklahoma 
  • South Carolina 
  • South Dakota 
  • Tennessee 
  • Texas 
  • Utah 
  • Virginia 
  • West Virginia 
  • Wisconsin 
  • Wyoming 

Licensed nurses in these states may be eligible to enroll in our online RN to BS in Nursing program. Oregon and Alaska have pending NLC legislation, while nurses based in New Jersey will be able to apply for a compact license sometime in 2021.  

What to Expect in Our Online RN to BS in Nursing Program  
Designed with nurses’ demanding schedules in mind, our program is almost entirely online and asynchronous. Nurses can complete courses, view lectures, and participate in online discussions from any of the 33 NLC states. Our program does require two clinical courses, which can be conducted in your home state and with the preceptor of your choice. Through our program, you can:  

  • Complete coursework online while you continue to practice.  
  • Save money with financial aid options and Texas’ affordable tuition costs.  
  • Increase your earning potential and open doors to new opportunities.   

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), our online program delivers critical, comprehensive, and relevant healthcare training through the highest quality instruction. Courses like Population Public Health, Healthcare Leadership and Policy, Social Determinants of Health, and Leadership Immersion & Capstone train students to become tomorrow’s nursing leaders. In addition to instilling students with invaluable knowledge and skills, our program rewards graduates with a Nurse Manager Certificate from Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. Equipped with a compact license, BSN, and Nurse Manager Certificate, graduates are ready to succeed in the nursing field regardless of the state they’re in.  

Learning Is a Lifelong Pursuit 
A nurse can earn a comfortable living with a compact license alone, but many nursing professionals refuse to rest on their laurels. They instead become nursing leaders capable of providing patient-centered care, inspiring team members, and ensuring long-term success. At UT Permian Basin, students can gain these skills and more, safeguarding not only their success but the success of their patients and fellow nurses.  

If you’d like to expand your skill set and reach your full potential, apply to UT Permian Basin’s online RN to BS in Nursing program. No matter where you’re licensed, no matter where you practice, nursing leaders will always be needed.  

 Sources: 

https://www.ncsbn.org/NLC_Facts-FINAL.pdf
https://www.ncsbn.org/NLC_Fast_Facts.pdf