Taking a travel nursing assignment can be one of the most exciting decisions you will ever make. A great assignment will give you the chance to see and experience aspects of the nursing world that you might have not ever had the chance to otherwise. With the majority of travel nursing jobs being out of state certain steps must be made before you can pack your bags and head off to your destination. Understanding the ins and outs of the nursing compact can give you a great leg up as you narrow down your location choice.
Why Was It Made?
The nursing compact came about due to the pre-existing laws that limited nurses and other healthcare professionals to practice only in the states to which they were originally certified. This led to a few sticky situations as the popularity of things like travel and tele-nursing became more and more prevalent. Take for instance, a tele-nurse practicing over the phone to a client out of his or her original certification state. Before the implementation of the compact, that tele-nurse was technically in violation of her nursing license if the intended patient was residing outside the area of her certification. In order to get around situations such as this, experts in the field and law makers began to draft up the beginning stages of what is now the nursing compact. Then, after much discussion, debate and editing the compact came into fruition on January 1st of 2000.
What Does It Do?
Let’s take a look at how the compact works. The nursing compact is essentially the agreement between states to allow a certified nursing professional to practice out of their original state of certification without the need to either forgo their home state’s license or apply to be certified in the desired state. States who sign up to be active members of the compact are then aptly labeled as a participating “party” state.
To make use of the compact program, a nurse or nursing professional must first be certified in his or her home state. Due to the nature of the compact, the nurse’s home state must be part of the compact states in order to enjoy the benefits of the multi-state licensing agreement.
Which States Use It?
It’s important to note that as of yet, not all states are active members of the nursing compact. Also, if a nursing professional seeks out permanent residence in another compact state, they will then need to be re-licensed as the wording in the compact only allows for traveling and tele-nurses to make use of its benefits. Below are a list of the party states involved in the nursing compact and the dates at which they were implemented into the compact program.
South Dakota… 1/1/2001
New Mexico… 1/1/2004
North Dakota… 1/1/2004
New Hampshire… 1/1/2006
North Carolina… 2/1/2006
South Carolina… 2/1/2006
The Benefits of the Compact
The benefits of the nursing compact go far beyond its most obvious use of letting nurses travel between states under one license. States who are active party members of the nursing compact are in essence working as a unified body for the benefit of public health and safety, being able to cooperate on new laws and regulations affecting the nursing world.
Activist for the Nurse Licensure Compact are constantly working to bring more party states into the compact to allow for a more nursing professionals to enjoy the benefits of a multi-state licensing program.
Author Bio: Kathryn Norcutt can often be found researching and reading about the newest innovations in the health care field. In her free time, she loves to work at perfecting her strength and fluidity in her Vinyasa yoga. Kathryn currently writes and blogs for RN Network.