Let’s Talk Nursing License

At Host Healthcare, we’re all about ensuring your travel nursing journey is seamless, and that includes state licensing. Our dedicated team of specialists will have your back throughout the licensure process.

Ready to get started?

Nursing State License Guide

Compact States

States that have implemented the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC is an interstate agreement that allows a registered nurse with a multi-state license to practice in any state that has implemented the Compact.

Non-Compact States

States that have not yet implemented the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). To practice within these states, a registered nurse must first obtain a single state license from the state they wish to practice in.

Primary State of Residence

This is your home state or the state where you declare a primary residence for legal purposes. Only one state can be identified as the primary state of residence for compact license legislation purposes.

Multi-State License

Nurses with a primary state of residence in a NLC state can obtain a multi-state license to practice nursing in any NLC state. Multi-state licenses allow travel nurses to practice across state lines easily and temporarily in other NLC states.


Because the licensing procedure can be a bit unpredictable from state to state, we recommend getting a jump on the process ASAP to make sure you’re all set in time for the start of your travel nursing assignment.

Not sure which license you need?

Use the nursing licensure guide and United States map below to determine what type of license you may need for your next assignment.


Current Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) States

Frequently Asked Questions

The time it takes to obtain a nursing license can vary depending on the state and your individual circumstances. Some states have expedited processes for out-of-state applicants, while others may have more extensive requirements or longer processing times. The timing to secure your licensing varies state by state, so we recommend starting as early as possible so you are ready to start your travel assignment.
You'll need to follow the specific requirements of each state where you plan to work. Typically, this involves completing an application, providing proof of your current nursing license, and sometimes passing additional exams or background checks. It's crucial to start this process well in advance of your desired start date to ensure you have all the necessary travel nurse licensing in place. Contact a specialist for further assistance with licensing.
A ‘travel nursing license’ isn’t a specific license you need. It simply means having the proper state license that you are looking for work in. It's essential because each state has its own regulations and requirements for nurses. Without the proper state nurse licensing, you may not be legally allowed to work in certain locations, limiting your job opportunities and potential earnings.
Yes, we prioritize matching you to your perfect position and destination, so we offer positions with top facilities in all 50 States. From travel nursing jobs in New York to Alaska, or anywhere else within the United States, Host Healthcare is here to help you find the perfect travel nursing assignment. Click here to view our current open positions.
Nursing license regulations vary by state, so before you begin your travel assignment across state lines, we'll help you verify which, if any, additional license(s) or certification(s) you will need and will also provide you with personalized assistance for credentialing and licensing.
Upon moving to the new Primary State of Residence (PSOR), visit the Board of Nursing website and complete the application for a license by endorsement. You may practice in the new state under the former state’s multi-state license until the multi-state license in the new Primary State of Residence is issued. Once it is issued by the state board, the compact license from the former state will be made inactive. You may not wait until the former license is about to expire before you apply for the compact nursing license in the new Primary State of Residence.
  1. Notify the board of nursing in your former home state of your new address in the noncompact state. This changes your multi-state license to a single state license.
  2. If you need an additional license in the non-compact state, visit the Board of Nursing website and complete the application for license by endorsement. You may do this prior to moving to the noncompact state.

Recruiters You’ll Love

Humble brag alert: Our recruiters have the best reviews in the business. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

5 / 5
4.9 / 5
4.5 / 5

The #1 Rated Travel Nursing Agency

Check out these reviews from real Host Healthcare travelers.

The best thing about working with Host Healthcare was my recruiter, Chris Murillo. He exemplifies the model for responsive, timely, and enthusiastic service. Chris also makes the effort to develop personal relationships with his clients. This is a man who truly cares about me as a person. Kudos to Host Healthcare for hiring and retaining this quality individual.
Maxine Hunter Apr 19, 2024
I’ve had a great experience with Host Healthcare. Lauren Pollacci is an excellent recruiter and easily the best one I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, she made the entire process painless. She is always extremely helpful with any need or concern I may have. I couldn’t imagine working with another recruiter at this point!
Charlie Yelverton Apr 16, 2024
I've been working with Host Healthcare as a travel nurse for three years now and wouldn't change a thing. My recruiter Kat Cook has made the transition from staff nursing to travel nursing so easy. She is always available, listens to the needs of both myself and my wife (travel pair), and finds us the best jobs in the best locations! 10 out of 10 would recommend her and the agency every time.
Brett Fontaine Apr 24, 2024
Just started my 7th PT contract with Host and every contract has been a smooth transition. I’ve had great communication with my recruiter Kathryn Cook who has helped me land some great jobs and help with the credentialing process. I plan on staying with Host for many more years.
Forrest Smith Apr 17, 2024

Start Your Journey Today

Get Started

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

EmailGive Us A Call