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Licensing Glossary of Terms

Active Status - A credential status indicating a nurse has a current license to practice.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) - A registered nurse (RN) as defined in RCW 18.79.050, 18.79.240, 18.79.250, and 18.79.400 who has obtained formal graduate education and national specialty certification through a commission approved certifying body in one or more of the designations described in WAC 246-840-302, and who is licensed as an ARNP as described in WAC 246-840-300. The designations include the following:

(a) Nurse practitioner (NP);

(b) Certified nurse midwife (CNM);

(c) Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA); and

(d) Clinical nurse specialist (CNS).

Authorization to Test (ATT) - The emailed notice sent from Pearson Vue to the applicant after the Nursing Commission has verified all requirements are met for the student to schedule the NCLEX examination.

Closed Application - An application for licensure closed after a set amount of time in which the requirements were not received from the applicant to the Nursing Commission. If an application is closed, the applicant must resubmit a new application and non-refundable application fee.

Compact State - Any state that has adopted this Compact. Also known as party state.

Continuing Competency - The ongoing ability of a nurse to maintain, update and demonstrate sufficient knowledge, skills, judgment, and qualifications necessary to practice safely and ethically in a designated role and setting in accordance with the scope of nursing practice. A nurse achieves continuing competency through active practice and continuing nursing education.

Deactivate - To terminate the active status of a multistate license or privilege to practice in a compact state.

Emergency Interim Permit (EIP) - A permit authorizing the applicant during a declared state of emergency to practice registered nursing, advanced registered nursing, or licensed practical nursing, as appropriate, from the time of verification of the completion of the school or training program until notification of the results of the examination. Upon the applicant passing the examination, and if all other requirements established by the commission for licensing are met, the department shall issue the applicant a license to practice registered nursing, advanced registered nursing, or licensed practical nursing, as appropriate. If the applicant fails the examination, the interim permit expires upon notification to the applicant, and is not renewable.

Endorsement - When a nurse is already licensed in one U.S. jurisdiction and seeks licensure in another, the process is generally referred to as licensure by endorsement, or reciprocity.

Exam State - The initial U.S. state in which a nurse was first licensed after passing the national examination.

Expired Status - A credential status indicating a nurse did not renew their license on or before the expiration date. While expired, the nurse cannot practice. This is not the result of an enforcement action.

Home State - The compact state which is the nurse’s primary state of residence. Proof of residency, such as a current driver’s license or other legal document which shows your current address, may be required by the state board of nursing at the time of application for multistate licensure.

Inactive Status - A credential status indicating a nurse is not practicing in Washington. When authorized in law or rule, a nurse may request to have their license placed on inactive status if the license is active, in good standing and they will not be practicing.

Inoperable - A credential status indicating a nurse cannot practice because they are not employed where employment is a requirement of the credential, or is not actively supervised, or is not actively participating or enrolled in a required training program when any of these conditions are a requirement of the credential. Also, a credential status indicating a nurse practitioner cannot practice because they are not current with the national certification. Inoperable status is not the result of enforcement action. The nurse can resume practice when appropriately employed, supervised, participating, enrolled in a required training program or nationally certified.

Interim Permit (IP) - A permit authorizing the applicant to practice registered nursing or advanced registered nursing, when the individual is needing to complete supervised clinical practice hours as a requirement for licensure.

License by Endorsement - The license issued by a state on the basis of a license in another jurisdiction. After being issued an initial license by exam, subsequent licenses are issued by endorsement.

License by Exam - The license issued by a state upon completion of all requirements including passing the NCLEX exam.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - A nurse licensed as defined in RCW 18.79.030(3), with a scope of practice defined in RCW 18.79.020 and 18.79.060.

Limited Education Authorization (LEA) - An authorization to perform clinical training when enrolled as a student through a commission approved refresher course. This authorization does not permit practice for employment.

Limited Education Authorization Special (LEA Special) - An authorization to perform clinical training when enrolled as a student through a commission approved refresher course. This authorization does not permit practice for employment and applied specifically to an individual who is endorsing into Washington State and does not hold an active license in any U.S. state or territory.

Military Status - A credential status indicating a healthcare professional has a full, unrestricted Washington State credential and is on active unrestricted military duty.

Multistate License - A license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/VN) issued by a home state licensing board that authorizes the licensed nurse to practice in all compact states under a multistate licensure privilege.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) - An independent, not-for-profit organization through which nursing regulatory bodies act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting public health, safety and welfare, including the development of nursing licensure examinations.

NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) - The nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States, Canada and Australia

Nontraditional Nursing Education - A school that has a curriculum which does not include a faculty supervised teaching and learning component in clinical settings.

Nursing Technician -  A nursing student preparing for RN or LPN licensure who meets the qualifications for licensure under RCW 18.79.340 who is employed in a hospital licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW or a nursing home licensed under chapter 18.51 RCW, or clinic. The nursing student must be in a nursing educational program in the United States or its territories that is approved by the state or territorial nursing regulatory authority and recognized in the list of approved nursing education programs using the National Council Licensure Examination-RN or National Council Licensure Examination-PN. Approved nursing education programs do not include nontraditional schools as defined in subsection (26) of this section.

Nursys - The national nurse database that contains the licensure and disciplinary information of all RNs and LPN/VNs as contributed by states.

Primary State of Residence (PSOR) - The “home state.”

Privilege to Practice (PTP) - A legal authorization associated with a multistate license permitting the practice of nursing as either an RN or LPN/VN in a remote state. The practice may also be via telehealth. Also known as multistate licensure privilege.

Reactivation - The process of renewing a Washington state credential that has been expired for more than a year for a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), or more than two years for an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP).

Registered Nurse (RN) - A licensed nurse as defined in RCW 18.79.030(1), 18.79.040, 18.79.240, and 18.79.260.

Remote State - A compact state other than the home state.

Renewal - Every credential requires renewal to remain in active, retired active, inactive, or military status. Renewal is due every year for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nursing technicians by the nurse’s birthday. Renewal is due every two years for advanced registered nurse practitioners.

Retired Active Status - A credential status indicating a nurse has a current license to practice and maintains a retired active license. Retired active status allows intermittent or emergency practice defined in WAC 246-840-125.

Single State License - A license valid for practice only in the state of issuance.

Speed Memo - A secure tool for communicating and collaborating with other member boards from within Nursys to assist in verification of out of state licensure information.

Temporary Practice Permit (TPP) - A permit issued to an applicant who meets all requirements for licensure, with the exception of the completion of the FBI fingerprint background check. The applicant must not be subject to denial of a license or issuance of a conditional or restricted license.

Uniform License Requirements (ULRs) - The 11 requirements which must be met in order for a nurse to obtain or retain a multistate license.

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) - Rules written by a government entity to implement laws. Rules help clarify the terms that are found in related laws. Rules are legally binding and are filed by chapter with the Office of the Code Reviser. Title 246, Department of Health, is the WAC chapter related to the regulation of health professions.