The primary licensure issue for travel healthcare providers, such as nurses, is how to gain licensure in the state you are moving to. Generally, there is a fairly simple method for gaining licensure in another state because most states have reciprocal arrangements, where if you are licensed in one, you can qualify to become licensed in another.
The method whereby you gain licensure in another state is called endorsement. This method can be used by registered nurses, for example, who hold a current and active license. You also must have taken and passed the NCLEX, the National Council Licensure Examination.
When you apply for a license in another state, the board of nursing in that state will check your credentials in the state where you are licensed – where you went to school, if you have any criminal record, and other information – to ensure that you are qualified. All you have to do is pay a fee for the new license. Once approved by the board, you are licensed to practice in the second state.
To maintain your license, you need to fulfill whatever requirements the state board of nursing has set. Often, this involves only paying a renewal fee. You can be licensed in many different states simultaneously by paying the licensure fees and meeting any other requirements set by the boards of nursing in those states. Some states, such as New York and New Hampshire, also have continuing education requirements.
If you live in a state that is a member of the Nursing Licensure Compact, your license is valid for all states in the Compact. Compact states are those that have entered into an agreement allowing mutual recognition of nursing licenses. Member states allow a nurse who lives in one state and holds a license in that state to practice in any other member state without having to get another license. There currently are 25 states participating in the Compact.
The situation is similar for physical therapists. If you plan to practice in another state, you will have to submit a copy of your current PT license, which the state will verify. And, as with nursing, there is an exam you must pass, the National Physical Therapy Exam. You need to transfer your score to your new state, as well. Finally, some states also require that you submit college transcripts.
If you’re a healthcare professional looking for a job to further your career, contact MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We are a Joint Commission-certified staffing service and we work with all allied health professionals: PTs, OTs, speech therapists, pharmacists, and nurses. Contact us today.