Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Licenses in the Different States
Categories: Travel Nursing

When you’re a travel nurse, you might be confused about the different nursing licenses needed in different states. There are different time frames by the state for nursing licensures; this can be confusing when looking at other states’ jobs. But, worry not, here’s everything you need to know about nursing licenses in different states. 

Types of Licenses

When you’re ready to get your nursing license, you’ll notice you have two different options. Each one has its pros and cons, but you want to choose the one that makes sense to you. 

  • By Examination: this is for nurses seeking licensure for the first time. To obtain this license, you need to have a nursing degree and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). 
  • By Endorsement: this is for nurses who are already working as Registered Nurses within the united states. This is for those who want to apply for licensure to be eligible to work in another jurisdiction. 

The Nurse Licensure Compact (Multi-State License)

Thankfully, we do have what we know as compact nursing states. This agreement allows nurses to have a single license that permits them to practice in multiple states. And obtaining a compact state license isn’t as difficult as you might think. 

Thankfully, over 50% of the states are members of the eNLC legislation, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to move across states. 

Temporary Permits

Some states can grant temporary permits for nurses seeking licensure. Some states give these within 48 hours; however, these expire within six months. Also, these permits are only available for nurses who already have a license in another state. The idea is to help nurses to start working in a different jurisdiction while they process their license. 

Basics to Know About Nursing Licenses by State

While a nationwide licensure process would be amazing, we’re not there yet. From state to state, application fees, length of the process, renewal timelines, and even requirements continue to vary. There are even differences on whether a nursing education program has to be nationally accredited or only state board-approved. 

Alabama

Temporary License Timeframe: 48 hours

Application Requirements: Proof of citizenship, official transcripts, and license verification

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Alaska

Temporary License Timeframe: 10 business days

Application Requirements: Proof of citizenship, official transcripts, and license verification

Renewal Date: November 30th

Arizona

Temporary License Timeframe: walk-ins 48 hours or 2 weeks by mail

Application Requirements: One of the following: 960 practice hours as a nurse; or graduated from a nursing program within the past 5 years; or completed an Arizona Board-approved refresher course in the past 5 years; or obtain an advanced nursing degree in the past 5 years. 

Renewal Date: Every 4 years

Arkansas

Temporary License Timeframe: 3-5 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

California

Temporary License Timeframe: 8-10 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years on your birthday

Colorado

Temporary License Timeframe: 4-5 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years by September 30

Connecticut

Temporary License Timeframe: 2-3 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year

Delaware

Temporary License Timeframe: 4-6 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Florida

Temporary License Timeframe: 30 days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Georgia

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 15 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Hawaii

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 15-20 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years by June 30

Idaho

Temporary License Timeframe: Not set timeline

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years on August 31

Illinois

Temporary License Timeframe: 2 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years by May 31

Indiana

Temporary License Timeframe: 2 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year on October 31

Iowa

Temporary License Timeframe: 5-10 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 3 years

Kansas

Temporary License Timeframe: 7-10 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Kentucky

Temporary License Timeframe: Not set timeline

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year on October 31

Louisiana

Temporary License Timeframe: No set timeline

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year

Maine

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 1-2 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Maryland

Temporary License Timeframe: 48-72 hours

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Massachusetts

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 4-6 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Michigan

Temporary License Timeframe: 4-6 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Minnesota

Temporary License Timeframe: 1 business day

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Mississippi

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 7-15 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Missouri

Temporary License Timeframe: same-day in-person or 2 weeks by mail

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Montana

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 30-60 days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Nebraska

Temporary License Timeframe: Not set timeline

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year on October 31

Nevada

Temporary License Timeframe: 7-10 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

New Hampshire

Temporary License Timeframe: Not set timeline

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year

New Jersey

Temporary License Timeframe: No set timeline

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

New Mexico

Temporary License Timeframe: 2-3 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

New York

Temporary License Timeframe: 6-8 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 4 years

North Carolina

Temporary License Timeframe: 1-2 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

North Dakota

Temporary License Timeframe: 3-5 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year

Ohio

Temporary License Timeframe: 4-6 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Oklahoma

Temporary License Timeframe: Varies

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Oregon

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 3-6 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years on your birthday

Pennsylvania

Temporary License Timeframe: 10-14 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years on April or October

Rhode Island

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 1 week

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

South Carolina

Temporary License Timeframe: 1 day

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

South Dakota

Temporary License Timeframe: 2-3 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

Tennessee

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 6 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

Texas

Temporary License Timeframe: 2 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

Utah

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 2-4 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

Vermont

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 3-5 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

Virginia

Temporary License Timeframe: Unavailable, permanent license 4-6 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

Washington

Temporary License Timeframe: 3 weeks

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 3 years 

West Virginia

Temporary License Timeframe: 7-10 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year on October 31

Wisconsin

Temporary License Timeframe: 10-15 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

Wyoming

Temporary License Timeframe: 10-14 business days

Application Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years 

 

We know that this can be slightly confusing, but have no fear – the Stability Healthcare team is ready to help. Head to our job portal to view open positions and set up an interview today!


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