The state of Maryland was first state to implement the nurse licensure compact in 1999. Wisconsin, Utah, North Carolina, Idaho and Delaware followed in 2000. In 2015, a total of 25 states participate in the compact.
Other southern states participating in the compact include Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas are western states implementing the compact. Involved eastern states include Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Iowa, Missouri, and North and South Dakota round out states participating in the compact as of 2015.
Legislative action is required for participation in the compact. States with compact legislation pending in 2015 and 2016 are Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma.
States participating in the compact agree to coordinate their nurse licensing functions to enable nurses to provide services across the participating states. Registered, practical and vocational nurses licensed by and in compliance with licensing requirements of a compact state who declare primary residence in a compact state are eligible for a multistate license. Licensing under the compact enables a nurse to triage patients by telephone, consult with other health care providers via video, transport patients by air and provide on-site services as needed in any compact state without additional applications, tests or charges.