Washington State Joins The Nurse Licensure Compact

Have you been dreaming of a travel nursing contract out west? Do you love to explore the great outdoors? If you answered "yes," we have great news!

The state of Washington has implemented an accelerated adoption of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).

This means that as of July 24, 2023, nurses (LPNs and RNs) who have an active, unencumbered multi-state license (also known as a compact nursing license) may practice in Washington state in-person or serve patients via Telehealth.

Washington nurses who hold a single-state nursing licenses will be apply to convert to a multistate license (MSL) after January 31, 2024. Get additional details on the Washington Board of Nursing (WABON) website.

When was NLC Legislation signed into law for Washington?

Governor Inslee officially signed Senate Bill 5499 into law on April 21, 2023.

In order for a bill to become a law, the bill  must be introduced and passed by the Senate and The House of Representatives. Once that is completed, the bill is then passed to the governor's desk for signature. 

View Washington State's NLC Implementation Plan to learn about Phase 1, Phase 2, required compliance, and more.

When can Washington nurses apply for a compact license?

On July 14, 2023, The Washington Board of Nursing will decide on a future implementation date, which will let Washington residents know when they're able to move forward with applying for their multi-state license.

A formal press release will be issued shortly after that Washington Board of Nursing (BON) meeting, which will note an official implementation date. 

For more information regarding Washington state’s implementation of the NLC, contact nursingcompact@doh.wa.gov.

Which states are compact nursing states?

Most of the states in the  U.S. are  part of the compact. This means that nurses with a compact license may practice in other compact states without paying for additional licensing fees.

As of June 2023, 40 states (this includes Washington) are compact nursing states/territories.

View the current map from with details about pending states and territories.
NLC states 2023

Requirements for Compact Nurses to Work in Washington

LPNs and RNs who are interested in using their compact license to practice in Washington are required to complete mandatory suicide prevention training

Additionally, they must update or submit their demographic data via Nursys e-Notify.

Employers are required to verify and report multi-state license nurses to the Washington Board of Nursing, which is also known as the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC).

Wondering what Washington has to offer? Travel nurses can learn all about the charm of the Pacific Northwest state here.

Have Any Other States Passed NLC Legislation This Year?

Yes! Rhode Island legislators passed NLC legislation in June 2023. Rhode Island's governor is expect to sign the legislation (House Bill 5737) into law very soon.

Once Rhode Island enacts the NLC, that will bring the compact state count to 41 states and territories.

Ohio officially became a compact state in January 2023.

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Multi-State License Checklis

To apply for a compact or multi-state license, LPNs and RNs must meet the following requirements:

Compact Checklist_Blog_Ohio Nurses


If you have additional questions about obtaining a compact nursing license, please contact your state’s Board of Nursing directly.

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