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I’m an LPN. How do I get permission to practice in another state and obtain dual licensure?

Wednesday May 20, 2009
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Dear Nancy,

If an LPN in one state who is in good standing with the nursing board, has 25 years of experience, and has no reports of disciplinary actions sees an employment opportunity in another state, how would he or she proceed to acquire permission to practice in the other state and possess dual licensure?


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Stacy,

There is no prohibition to holding active, current and unencumbered licenses in more than one state. If one is interested in working in a state other than the one in which a license exists, the nurse must contact the board of nursing in the state he or she is interested in working to obtain the requirements for obtaining a license in that state.

As an example, many states allow a nurse who is licensed in one state to obtain an LPN license in another state through endorsement. In that process, the licensee applies for licensure in the state, and if requisites are met, the LPN license is granted. The process involves filling out an application, paying fees, and submitting documents required by the state board of nursing.

You can determine what the state board of nursing requires in any state by typing “state boards of nursing” in the search engine on your computer or going to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Web site at www.ncsbn.org. If a state in which one is licensed adopted the NCSBN Nurse Licensure Compact and the state in which one seeks employment also has adopted the compact, an RN or LPN can work in the other state after meeting the required prerequisites set forth in the state nurse practice act.

A nurse cannot assume, however, that practice can just begin because both states are part of the compact. Rather, the licensee should contact his or her home state board of nursing to determine the process to be followed to practice in a “sister” compact state. The NCSBN Web site has information on the compact and the states that have adopted it.


Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.