On April 21, the Governor signed the Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5499 Multistate Nurse Licensure Compact as passed by the Washington state legislature.
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) increases access to care while maintaining public protection at the state level. Under the NLC, nurses with an active multistate license can practice in other NLC states/territories, without obtaining additional licenses.
This means that nurses who hold an active multistate license and reside outside of Washington state, will no longer need a separate Washington state nursing license. This is not yet in effect.
- The Nursing Commission will decide the timeframe and process for implementing the new bill. No dates have been set yet.
- The Nursing Commission will begin addressing it at the next business meeting on May 12, 2023.
What you need to do
- Nothing at this time.
- Nurses in compact states still need a Washington state nurse license to practice in Washington until further notice.
- We will send more information and updates via GovDelivery in the coming weeks. Make sure you're signed up for Nursing Commission News and Alerts.
What employers need to know
- The Nursing Commission will determine the implementation date of when nurses with an active multistate license may begin practicing in Washington state.
- Once implemented, SSB 5499 requires employers who hire nurses practicing with an active multistate license, and do not have a Washington state nursing license to:
- Verify and report multistate license nurses to the Nursing Commission
- Attest that the nurse has met the Suicide Prevention Training requirement
- Attest that the nurse has updated and submitted their demographic data survey.
- For more information please review the NLC's What Nurse Employers Need to Know (PDF)
- You do not need to send the Nursing Commission this information at this time.
- NCSBN: Washington Enacts Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)
- NCSBN Nurse Licensure Compact
- NCSBN NLC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)