New NLC Rule Requires Nurses Relocating

The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) is the state agency that licenses all nurses and ensures that they follow all laws and rules related to the profession. Violations of these laws or rules can lead to disciplinary proceedings and severe sanctions. As a result, all nurses must keep up to date with changes in the laws and rules that govern their profession, including rules that affect their license when they move to Texas or another state. 

If you are facing disciplinary proceedings resulting from any alleged violations of the laws or rules that pertain to nurses, consulting a nursing license defense lawyer to defend your license can be crucial. By enlisting a strong legal advocate from the outset of your case, you may be better positioned to reach a more positive resolution. 

Understanding the New Nurse Licensure Compact Rule

A new Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) rule took effect on January 2, 2024. Rule 402(2) states, A multistate licensee who changes primary state of residence to another party state shall apply for a multistate license in the new party state within 60 days.

The relevant 60-day period begins as soon as you are physically present in the new state and intend to relocate and establish your primary residence there. 

The previous relocation rule required nurses to apply for a license by endorsement in their new state of residency upon their relocation. The new state’s license would then replace the old state’s license.

While you are not required to obtain the multistate license within 60 days of relocation, you must complete the application process within 60 days of relocation. This process includes completing the application found on the new state’s Board of Nursing website. You also will have to show proof of residence in the new state. 

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If you are temporarily working in a different state, such as a travel nurse, and not permanently relocating there, then you are not subject to this rule. However, if you are residing in a different state on a temporary assignment and then decide to accept a permanent one in that state, you would be required to apply for a multistate license. You would have 60 days from the date you accepted the permanent assignment to apply for your new license since you are already physically located in the new state. 

Practicing while Awaiting Your New Multistate License

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You can continue to practice nursing on your old state’s nursing license until you receive your new multistate compact license, so long as your old nursing license remains valid. However, if the old nursing license expires before receiving your compact license, you cannot renew it because you no longer live in that state. Therefore, as you are planning your move to another state, you should renew your license if it is set to expire within the next several months. 

Exceptions to the New NLC Rule

The federal supremacy clause requires that you only hold a single state license to be employed as a nurse by the VA, the U.S. military, or another federal government division. If you remain employed by the federal government, you are not subject to the new Nurse Licensure Compact rule. However, if you apply for a multistate license in your state of permanent residence and then relocate to another compact state and still hold a multistate license, you must comply with the new 60-day NLC rule, regardless of your employer. 

An exception also exists for military spouses. As a military spouse, you typically would be able to practice under the multistate license of the state of their permanent residence, even if your spouse was temporarily stationed in another compact state. Unless you took some action to change their legal state of residency, such as getting a driver’s license or registering to vote, you would not need to apply for a new multistate license, and the new Nurse Licensure Compact rule would not apply. 

We Will Represent Your Interests in Your Disciplinary Proceedings Before the BON

We know how important it is for you to maintain your nursing license and continue your chosen career. All too often, a simple misstep or oversight can lead to disciplinary proceedings and unwanted sanctions, which can threaten your license and career. The experienced nursing license defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP, will advocate to help you protect your rights throughout any disciplinary proceedings. Together, we will work to develop the defense strategy that is best calculated to maintain your license and professional future. Call us at (512) 515-9518 or contact us online.

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