Licensure by Endorsement


Licensure by Endorsement
means applying for a nursing license at another State with the endorsement of the current State.  You must be an existing resident and licensed to practice in the current State.  As a nurse, you would require a nursing licensure by endorsement when you need a license in another State or you are transferring your current nursing license to another state due to a new job opportunity or move.

There are three cases when a nurse would have to apply for RN Licensure by Endorsement.

First, if you are currently working in a Compact State and moving to a Non-Compact State.

Second, if you are currently working in a Non-Compact State and moving to a Compact State.

Third if you are working in a Compact State and moving to another Compact, this a Reciprocity Nursing License.  Check out Nursing Compact States for the full list of States which that have implemented the Reciprocity Nursing License and are part of the nursing multi-state license network.

Scenario 1: Moving from Compact State to Non-Compact State

This is the strictest scenario of Nursing Licensure by Endorsement.  The reason is because a nurse moving from Compact State to Non-Compact is essentially applying for full licensure by endorsement from scratch.  In this case, the original Multi-State Nursing License is changed to a single state license.  In addition, the nurse is required to inform the Board of Nursing of the previous State of all updated information.

When moving from a Compact to a Non-Compact, the process takes longer than moving from one Compact to another Compact.  For example, in California obtaining a temporary nursing license will take ten to twelve weeks from the California Board of Nursing after all documents are received.  This is because California is a Non-Compact State.  This temporary license would be valid for 6 months.  Obtaining the permanent license in California will take ten to twelve weeks after all documents are received.  In addition, since California does not participate in the Nursys license verification, you will need to spend additional money and time (6 weeks) to verify your California nursing license.

Scenario 2: Moving from Non-Compact State to Compact State

In the case of a moving from non-compact State, like California, to a Compact State, the nurse must apply for a licensure by endorsement in the new state of residence.  If you are moving to a Compact State, you will need to apply for a RN Licensure by Endorsement.  That means you would be applying for a single state license valid only in that State.  There is no limit to the number of single licenses a resident of a Non-Compact State can have.

The good news is that once you are a resident in a Compact State, you can apply for the NLC Nurse Multi-State Nursing License.  Usually to be a resident, you would need to reside in that State for 12 consecutive months and establish & maintain domicile there.  In order to establish your domicile, you must work in that State for 12 months.

Scenario 3: Moving from Compact State to another Compact State aka Reciprocity Nursing License

This is the most straight forward scenario of licensure by endorsement.  We define reciprocity nursing license as a Compact to Compact State multi-state nursing license.

If you are a nurse with a multi-state nursing license moving within compact states, you must apply for Nursing Licensure by Endorsement at the new state upon moving.  The nurse must apply directly at that new State’s Board of Nursing.  With that in mind, the nurse may begin working in the new State with his or her previous State license.  When the new State Board of Nursing issues the new nursing license, they will inactivate the previous former residence license.  It really does not get simpler than that.

Licensure by Endorsement Conclusion

In conclusion, there are two types of licensures – Licensure by Examination and Licensure by Endorsement.  Licensure by Examination is when you first graduate from nursing school.  Licensure by Endorsement is when you move your nursing license from one state to another state.  The process is very straightforward depending on whether you are currently in a Compact or Non-Compact State.  In addition, it depends if you are moving to a Compact or Non-Compact State.  To see whether your current and future State qualifies as a Compact State, check out RN Compact States and LPN Compact States.

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