Board of Nursing
Nurse Licensure Compact Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Tennessee passed a law that allowed it to become a member of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). This compact is very similar to the original NLC. The eNLC was implemented January 19, 2018. States that are members of the eNLC will issue multistate licenses (MSL) that allow a RN or LPN to practice physically, electronically and/or telephonically across a state border to patients located in other states.
As with the original NLC, a nurse practicing in other states on the multistate licensure privilege must adhere to the laws and rules of the state where the patient is located. If a nurse needs to practice in a state that is not a member of the eNLC, the nurse must obtain a single state license issued from that state regardless of where the nurse holds a MSL.
The eNLC does not have the same member states as the original NLC. Currently Rhode Island is the only original state that has not joined. Member states will change as states pass laws to enact the eNLC. To view the latest map detailing NLC states, please visit https://www.nursecompact.com/index.htm#map.
What happened January 19, 2018?
Those holding a Tennessee RN or LPN multistate license were “grandfathered” into the eNLC and will not need to take any further action unless the nurse moves to another state. Tennessee multistate licensees are eligible to practice on the privilege to practice in all eNLC states. Nursys Quick Confirm lookup at https://www.nursys.com/ will provide a list and map visual of eNLC states where each RN and LPN may practice.
What important changes are in the eNLC?
New Tennessee licensees and those moving to another eNLC state must meet uniform licensure requirements (ULRs) to be eligible for a MSL. ULRs include:
- Meets the requirements for licensure in the home state (state of residency);
- Has graduated from a board-approved RN or LPN prelicensure program; or
- Has graduated from an international prelicensure program approved by the accrediting body in the country and that has been verified by an independent credential review agency as comparable to a US board-approved program;
- Has passed an English proficiency exam if prelicensure program was not taught in English or if English is not the individual’s native language;
- Has passed an NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® Examination or predecessor exam (State Board Test Pool Exam);
- Is eligible for or holds an active, unencumbered license (i.e., without discipline);
- Has submitted to state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks (CBC);
- Has no state or federal felony convictions (absolute bar to MSL);
- Has no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing (determined on a case-by-case basis);
- Is required to self-disclose participation in an alternative program, e.g. Tennessee Professional Assistance Program; and
- Has a valid United States Social Security Number.
What is the impact on nurses practicing in Tennessee on the multistate privilege?
A nurse practicing in Tennessee on the multistate privilege from a state that has not joined the eNLC as of January 19, 2018, must apply for a Tennessee single state license by endorsement or reinstate an inactivated Tennessee RN/LPN license. Go to https://www.tn.gov/health/article/nursing-applications.
What is the eNLC impact on APRNs?
APRNs practicing in Tennessee must hold a Tennessee RN license (single or multistate) or multistate license from an eNLC party state in addition to a Tennessee APRN certificate. APRNs holding a MSL in an original compact state that has not joined the eNLC as of January 19, 2018 must apply to Tennessee for a single state license by endorsement or reinstate an inactivated Tennessee RN license. Go to https://www.tn.gov/health/article/nursing-applications.
What does an employer need to know?
Employers that have nurse employees practicing in Tennessee on the multistate privilege from a state that was a member of the original NLC that is not a member of the eNLC must ensure that the nurse is eligible to practice in Tennessee. Use Nursys Quick Confirm lookup at https://www.nursys.com/. The Board of Nursing recommends employers register its nurses in E-Notify, also found at https://www.nursys.com/.
Follow the eNLC at https://nursecompact.com/about.htm.
Further information can be accessed at https://www.ncsbn.org/compacts.htm.