Compact License Changes Implemented January 2018: What Travel Nurses Need to Know

This post was originally published on Nov. 8, 2017. It has been updated (Jan. 29, 2018) to reflect the signing of Colorado SB 18-027 and New Mexico Senate Bill 1 into law, enacting Colorado and New Mexico as the newest eNLC member states.

In 2015, the Boards of Nursing updated and revised the Nurse Licensure Compact, creating the Enhanced NLC, or eNLC. On Jan. 19, 2018, the eNLC was officially implemented—here’s what you need to know about the changes to compact state licenses.

Who’s In and Who’s Out?

First things first—not every state in the original NLC is on board with the eNLC. If you hold a nursing license in Rhode Island, you can no longer travel to compact states without additional licensure (and vice versa).

When one door closes, however, another opens, and five states that weren’t part of the original NLC have jumped on the eNLC bandwagon. Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming are eNLC members, and Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont have pending legislation that would allow them to add their names to the list.

Here’s an at-a-glance map of states that have adopted or have pending eNLC legislation.

Updated eNLC map compact statesHave License, Will Travel

If you had a multi-state license under the original NLC compact and your home state has joined the eNLC, you have been grandfathered into the eNLC, meaning you’re good to go—you can travel to and work in any other eNLC state without jumping through additional licensure hoops. For example, if your home state is currently North Carolina and you held a multi-state license under the NLC, you can work in Maryland, West Virginia, or any other state that’s part of the eNLC.

However, if you were to move your permanent residency from North Carolina to Maryland (or any other eNLC state), you’ll need to obtain a license to practice in that state plus meet the Uniform Licensure Requirements (ULR) for a multi-state license (more on that in a bit).

Turning the tables, if you live in Florida (which just entered the eNLC and was not an NLC member) and your New Year’s resolution is to embark on a travel nursing adventure, you’re starting from scratch. If that’s the case, you have to check three proverbial boxes: you must apply through your state Board of Nursing, pay a fee (varies by state), and meet the ULR.

The ULR is a set of 11 requirements that broadly fall into three categories: your qualifications ✅, your track record ✅, and your work eligibility ✅. Included in the qualifications bucket is a suitable education, passing an NCLEX or predecessor exam, English proficiency, and meeting the licensure requirements in your home state. The background qualifications include not having active disciplinary actions on your license, no felony or nursing-related misdemeanor convictions, no current participation in alternative programs, and undergoing fingerprint screening. Work eligibility is simply having a valid Social Security number.

If you live in a state that’s new to the eNLC, you’ll receive a notification from your state Board of Nursing outlining the steps to take in order to begin practicing in other states. Applications should be available online now.

Diving into the Details

It’s important for current travel nurses in NLC-to-eNLC states to know that they’re covered. If, by July 20, 2017, you were licensed in an NLC state that adopted the eNLC framework, then your multi-state license should have rolled over to an eNLC multi-state license on Jan. 19, 2018.

There’s consensus that more states will continue to push legislation to become part of the eNLC. If so, that will open up even more opportunities for travel nurses to see the country, embark on adventures, and create lasting memories.

If you have questions about how your compact state license has been affected by the implementation of the eNLC, contact a travel nurse recruiter at Next Travel Nursing today 👍.

Next Travel Nursing among Top Travel Nurse Companies of 2018

The specialty-focused recruiters at Next Travel Nursing are #pumped to share some big news! Travel Nursing Central recently named Next one of the Top Travel Nurse Companies of 2018!

Our team strives to not only deliver high-quality service, but also to improve our processes, communication, and the overall experience for travelers each and every year. As we jump into 2018, it’s this never-ending pursuit to be better that makes this honor so satisfying! 😊

Travel Nursing Central, or TNC, received over 5,500 ratings on 215 companies from travelers just like you. Each rating submitted by a nurse was voluntary, and to qualify for the final list, a company must have received at least 20 ratings (at least 10 coming in 2017).

Next Travel Nursing earned a Bronze Medal this year, meaning that we finished among the top 12 companies rated (out of 215!). While we’re incredibly grateful to be recognized with such a ranking, our sights are on the gold for 2019! 🏅

Best is Yet to Come for Next Travel Nursing!

Thank you to all the travel nurses who took the time to rate Next on the TNC website. Your feedback—both the kind words and the constructive criticisms 🚧—are taken very seriously by our team. We will continue to provide top-quality service to our travelers in 2018, and work to improve in areas you’ve identified through your feedback. Our specialty-focused travel nurse recruiters believe you deserve more than just someone who can find you a job—you need someone with whom you can build a relationship, trust to come through when you have questions, and simply make things easier outside of the facility so that you can focus on what’s most important: the patient.

Whether you’re an experienced RN considering a travel position for the first time, or you’ve been on eight travel assignments already, reach out to Next Travel Nursing for your next job. With platinum-level benefits, recruiters who are focused on your specialty, and a Chief Nursing Officer that is always available ☎ to answer your clinical and career questions, we’re ready to help you succeed in 2018!

See Travel Nurse Jobs for 2018 Now

Telemetry Travel Nursing Jobs Available Now

As a telemetry travel nurse, attention to detail is paramount to the success of your unit and, more importantly, the health of the patients in your care. As you work with patients who are often at high risk for complications, tele nurses like yourself require advanced medical knowledge, technical expertise, and of course strong interpersonal skills. 🗨

At Next Travel Nursing, our team of telemetry-focused recruiters is #pumped to work daily with incredible tele travel nurses like you. We understand what you want in a travel job, and can help you land an assignment that checks as many of your boxes as possible. ✅

Tele Travel Nurse Job Board

We encourage you to get started today by browsing our available telemetry travel nurse jobs below. If you are interested in a particular assignment and would like to pursue it (or simply speak to a telemetry-focused recruiter to get your questions answered), click 🖱 the “I’m interested” button next to the job.

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NICU Travel Nursing Jobs Available Now

Life as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse is both challenging and rewarding. You help vulnerable newborn children tackle incredible obstacles at such vital stages of their lives, and work with families who are stressed and worried about their new son, daughter, or grandchild.

At Next Travel Nursing, our NICU-specific recruiters have the utmost appreciation for the incredible work you do. Throughout your career, you have proven to be observant and communicative while also promoting optimism and resiliency. Our team wants to ensure you get the most out of your next travel experience, both inside and outside the facility. We want to help you connect with healthcare facilities in need of your unique and valuable skillset, giving you the opportunity to help newborn children and their families heal while being compensated well and escaping the day-to-day politics associated with hospital life.

To see NICU travel nursing jobs currently available with Next, check out the job board below. You can also contact one of our recruiters directly by applying today.

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Cath Lab Travel Nursing Jobs Available Now

As a cath lab travel nurse, you are often one of the first people a patient will interact with before the procedure of cardiac catheterization is performed. In this role, it’s your job to educated the patient about the procedure and help them to feel as comfortable as possible, often answering questions or addressing concerns. You likely are also checking vital signs and administering IVs.

At Next Travel Nursing, our team of cath-lab-specific recruiters appreciates the incredible work and dedication you put forth on a regular basis. We recognize your innate ability to work well with your team in what can often become a stressful environment. If you are interested in pursuing cath lab travel nursing jobs, check out the job board below to view our current open opportunities.

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Med-Surg Travel Nursing Jobs Available Now

As a med-surg nurse, multi-tasking is likely second nature. On any given day, you’re juggling several tasks—administering medications, educating families, discharging patients, admitting new ones, and keeping members of your team on the same page—all while ensuring that the physical and emotional needs of your patients are being met.

At Next Travel Nursing, our team of recruiters has great respect for the impressive levels of coordination med-surg nurses exhibit on a daily basis. What’s more, we realize that, when it comes to your career, your biggest concerns should fall within your assigned healthcare facility—not outside it. Whether you’re an experienced med-surg travel nurse, or are interested in becoming a traveler for the first time, caring for your patients and helping your unit should be your first priority. That’s why recruiters at Next take care of the details that can often cause stress for travel nurses—identifying new jobs, coordinating travel and housing, and providing quality medical, dental, and vision benefits.

If you’re ready for a new challenge as a med-surg nurse, browse the travel nursing assignments from Next below; our recruiters can help you find the job that’s right for you.

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August Travel Nurse of the Month 🏆: Tara!

At Next Travel Nursing, we understand the importance of the nurse-recruiter relationship in terms of job success. Without someone behind you who truly has your back, travel nursing can quickly become overwhelming 😬. With the continued help and communication of a trusted recruiter, however, you can focus on what’s important for an assignment—helping your patients to the best of your ability and enjoying your time in a new environment, both in and out of the healthcare facility.

Our team also understands that nurturing such a relationship is a two-way street—we need your help, as well. That’s why each month we take a moment to recognize a Next travel nurse who has gone above and beyond his or her duties.

For August 2017, Next Travel Nursing is thrilled recognize Tara as the Travel Nurse of the Month! Here’s what her recruiter, Marlyn Miller, had to say about Tara 📣:

Tara has worked extra shifts and gets along great with the staff. The nursing manager asked her about extending today and she has only been there less than a month! She’s an amazing nurse and has the best personality 😀. She’s currently working in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Please join the entire Next team in thanking Tara for the great work she’s done on assignment and for helping to serve patients in need of her care!

Ready to find your next travel nursing assignment? Find your perfect recruiter match today.

Match with Recruiters

July Travel Nurse of the Month 🏆: Amber!

Recruiters at Next Travel Nursing strive to build lasting relationships with the nurses we serve with on a regular basis. By doing so, we are extremely fortunate to get to know what makes each travel nurse unique. Each month, our team recognizes one of these amazing nurses so the rest of the world can join us in appreciating the important work they do.

With July kicking off in style 🇺🇸, it’s time to reveal our latest Next Travel Nurse of the Month: Amber!

Amber is a medical surgical travel nurse currently on assignment in New Mexico, and has been extended there. She recently told her Next recruiter, David Nation, that she fits in well at her assigned facility and has been generally embraced by her co-workers. In fact, at her last assignment (in Nevada), Amber was nominated as the “Infection Control Champion.” 🏅

Here’s what else David had to say:

“Amber is always willing to help out whenever she can. They have asked her to pick up days on her travel assignment, and she doesn’t hesitate. She is such a kind, giving soul who truly cares about her patients.”

Med surg travel nurses are, in many situations, the air-traffic controllers of their units. As such, being a skilled multi-tasker is extremely important, as well as having a cool head amidst sometimes chaotic circumstances. Med surg nurses are well-educated in the functions and roles of all systems of the body, and are familiar with a wide range of illnesses. There are many challenges that med surg nurses face every day, and the demands are often high, making Amber’s success all the more impressive. 👊

Please join the Next Travel Nursing team in thanking Amber for all she does as a med surg travel nurse, and congratulate her for being named our July Travel Nurse of the Month! From David and the rest of the Next crew, we are extremely fortunate to have you on our team!

Are you a med surg travel nurse like Amber? Check out open med surg travel jobs now now by clicking the button below. 

See med surg travel nursing jobs open today.

Are Travel Nurses Happier⁉️

Study says: travel nurses are happier 😁

Full-time nurses have it rough. Longer shifts, increased workloads and dangerous nurse-to-patient ratios are too common. An academic study discovered that one out of every four hospital nurses is burned out. That’s a bummer, especially when you consider that nurses provide some 90% of the world’s healthcare services.

But the recent study also proved that not every nurse is feeling the burn. 🔥

Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, a professor of sociology and nursing and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study to determine the efficacy of travel nurses. The results of the survey revealed more than what was originally intended.

After examining over 40,000 nurses in over 600 hospitals, Linda Aiken concluded that not only are travel nurses satisfied with their jobs, but travel nurses working for agencies had a higher job satisfaction rate compared to full-time nurses. #winning

The results make sense because most travel nursing contracts only last 13 weeks, which isn’t enough time for travelers to get caught up in typical pitfalls that lead to nurse burnout 😃. Also, living life 13 weeks at a time keeps things fresh and exciting.

Are you a nurse looking to travel? Want a partner instead of an employer? There are five steps you can take to experiencing the kind of job satisfaction you deserve! Click below to find out how you can begin your travel nursing journey! ✈️🏥

Do Nurses Really Need Their BSN?

BSN is sweeping the nation… It’s definitely coming… Whether a state requires it or not, most hospitals are looking for RN’s with higher levels of education…

That is the new day. –Chief Nursing Officer Earl Dalton, MHA, MSL, RN, NEA-B

Do nurses really need their BSN in today’s healthcare landscape? Our Chief Nursing Officer Earl Dalton, who has over 20 years of acute hospital experience, gave a detailed explanation during a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) he hosted near the end of 2016.

The question was submitted as follows:

I’ll bite on “do you really need a BSN” to get a job in a hospital setting? I’m looking to swap careers to nursing sometime in the next couple of years, and with a husband and child and a mortgage, it seems to me like the most economical and quickest way to get a to RN would be to get a ADN at a community college. My plan would be to get a BSN while working. The ADN programs are so much cheaper than an accelerated program. It seems like it’s a bit region specific as to whether you can get a hospital job isn’t it? Thanks for doing the AMA! – aintnochickenwing

OK this one is a hot bed topic for nurses. I would say this: ADN programs produce some of the best nurses I have ever known and are a great way to get the fundamental foundations of nursing and an accelerated way to get in the workforce.

That said, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a landmark report on nursing in 2011 stating nursing will need a different skill set for the future than is delivered in the current ADN programs. You can read the IOM’s report by clicking here.

In today’s nursing landscape, the concepts of LEAN, Six SIGMA, research, and data analysis are all in play at the lowest levels. For example, the latest research shows that the new “normals” for vital signs will be the mean of your bell curve and one standard deviation from the mean will be an abnormal finding. This means that degree-prepared skill sets (and post graduate) are required for the direction medicine is headed.

If you look at the current global trends most, of the First World countries have moved to baccalaureate programs only and many US schools have eliminated ADN programs completely.

At this time, 40-plus states have declared coalitions to evolve their state to meet the IOM’s recommendations of BSN only nursing. My advice would be to get your education either way, but don’t stop until you have a BSN.

You can read Earl Dalton’s entire AMA on Reddit by clicking here. It’s loaded with useful insights and questions you may have about nursing, so do give it some time.

There’s already plenty of science behind the BSN compared to an ADN, too. Consider this from

Research has shown that patient outcomes are better when the nurse treating the patient has an advanced degree. In a 2003 study published in JAMA, Linda H. Aiken and her colleagues found a 10% increase in the proportion of hospital staff nurses with baccalaureate degrees is associated with a 5% decline in patient mortality following common surgical procedures. A 2008 follow-up study published in the Journal of Nursing Administration confirmed that BSN-prepared nurses improve patient outcomes.

We hope you found the above information useful. And if you’re a current traveling nurse who wants to join a sweet agency that has its own Chief Nursing Officer, click here!