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NOTE: This news story was published June 16, 2023, and last updated July 24, 2023.

For the most current information about the NLC Implementation go to our NLC Multistate License (MSL) page.

On April 21, 2023, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5499 Multistate Nurse Licensure Compact into law. Washington is the 40th jurisdiction to enact the NLC. 

The NLC increases access to care while maintaining public protection at the state level. Under the NLC, nurses with an active multistate license (MSL) can practice in other NLC states/territories, without obtaining additional licenses. The state which is the primary state of residency (or home state license for military) issues multistate licenses.  

The Nursing Commission plans to implement the NLC in two phases. 

Important note:

  • Employer(s) refers to certain employers or establishments listed in SSB 5499 that are required to meet the requirements listed below. All employers are encouraged, but not required, to meet these requirements. 
NCQAC NLC Implementation Plan

Phase 1: Accept nurses with an active multistate license (MSL) from other states

Beginning July 24, 2023, nurses with an active MSL issued from another state will be able to practice in Washington state. Please note, if an MSL nurse is making Washington state their primary state of residency (PSOR or “home state”), then they must apply for a Washington state “single state” license until Phase 2 of this implementation plan is complete.

What Nurses Need to Know

Nurses with an active MSL from another state may begin working in Washington state beginning July 24, 2023, once they:

  • Verify and communicate their MSL information to their employer.
  • Complete the required Suicide Prevention Training and report completion to their employer.
  • Update or submit demographic data via and report completion to their employer.

What Nursing Employers Need to Know

Employers may begin reporting MSL nurses to the Nursing Commission beginning July 24, 2023, and are required by law to report no later than September 1, 2023. Nurses may begin to work as of July 24, 2023, in advance of employers submitting this information. Beginning September 1, 2023, and thereafter, employers must report MSL nurses to the Nursing Commission within 30 days of hire.

Employer Compliance Form

Employers who have hired, or wish to hire, nurses that will work only with an active multistate license (without a WA state license) are required to:

  • Verify and report MSL nurses to the Nursing Commission.
  • Attest that the nurse has completed the required Suicide Prevention Training.
  • Attest that the nurse has updated or submitted their demographic data.
How do I report this information to the Nursing Commission?

Employers will be able to attest to these requirements via the Nursing Commission’s Employer Compliance Form. The form will be available on our website by July 24, 2023. We will share additional information in the next few weeks (

Reporting is a legal requirement after September 1, 2023, and will be enforced for those facilities by DSHS and DOH according to mandatory reporting requirements under SSB 5499.

Next Steps

NLC Information on our Website

  • The Nursing Commission is developing information for nurses, nursing students, and employers for our website. This information will be available in the next few weeks. 
  • A webpage specific to military spouses and the NLC will also be available.
  • The Nursing Commission is planning informative webinars on this process and requirements. We will share dates in the next few weeks.

NCQAC Name Change

  • As directed by SSB 5499, the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC)’s name will be changed to the Washington State Board of Nursing (WA BON).

Phase 2: Issue Washington state multistate licenses (MSL)

At the July 14, 2023, business meeting the Nursing Commission will review and potentially approve the NLC implementation plan and determine next steps for relevant rulemaking. The Nursing Commission is completing ongoing work on the following prior to determining the future effective date for issuing multistate licenses to nurses in Washington state:

NCQAC Coordination with Department of Health IT Services

  • Develop MSL applications and related internal processes.
  • Coordinate efforts and implementation timing with the Healthcare Enforcement and Licensing Modernization Solution (HELMS).

Rulemaking to Implement the NLC

  • The Nursing Commission is determining next steps in rulemaking to implement the NLC.
  • For more information about rules, please visit our Rules in Progress page on our website or email

More Information

NCQAC News Updates:


For questions relating to Washington state’s implementation of the NLC, please email