May 23, 2018

How To Upgrade Your Nursing License To An eNLC In 2018

As many nurses are already aware, the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) was implemented on January 19, 2018. Twenty-four of the original twenty-five Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) states made the transition to the eNLC. Beyond that, several other states have joined the eNLC. These states include Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Many other states are pending legislation to join the eNLC as well.

In order to upgrade your current RN/PN license to a multistate license, be sure to meet the following uniform licensure requirements. 

The new eNLC requires applicants to:

  • Graduate from a board-approved education program
  • Hold an active, unencumbered license
  • Undergo a state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background check
  • Pass an NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN Exam
  • Meet the requirements for licensure in their original state of residency
  • Pass an English proficiency exam (for international graduates)
  • Have a valid United States social security number
  • Disclose current participation in an alternative program (applicants are unable to participate in an alternative program)
  • Not have any state or federal felony convictions, nor misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing

Upgrading your current state license in a qualified state to a multistate license does not happen automatically. Luckily the process is pretty straightforward.

First, you will need to go to your state board of nursing website. Then you will need to click on apply for a new license. There should be an option that says “eNLC Upgrade Application” or “Apply for a multistate license”. You are eligible as long as you meet the requirements above. Some states will request that you provide a mailing address in your residential state. If you are unable to provide this, you may have to submit proof of residency such as a copy of your driver’s license, federal income tax returns or voter registration card.

Once you finish the application, you will then need to complete the mandatory fingerprint and background check. This will typically be live scan fingerprinting at an approved center in your residential state. Keep in mind that there are separate fees for the multistate license application and the fingerprint-based background check.

After you submit the new application and fingerprints, your application will take several days to a couple of weeks to be reviewed. When you are approved, a new multistate license will be sent to you. Once you have obtained this eNLC license, you will be able to use this compact license in all participatory eNLC states. You will no longer have to apply for RN/PN licenses of endorsement.

Nurses that held an original NLC license will be grandfathered into the eNLC. Thus, they will not have to apply for a new license at this time.