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Starting today, nurses in Washington state can apply for a multistate license to practice in Washington and other states within the Nurse Licensure Compact.

Olympia, WA – Effective immediately, nurses whose primary state of residence (PSOR) is Washington state can apply for a multistate license (MSL). Nurses with MSLs can practice in 41 other states and territories that participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), without the need for additional licenses.

Washington was the 40th jurisdiction to enter the compact. Gov. Jay Inslee signed Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5499 Multistate Nurse Licensure Compact, enacting compact legislation into law. WABON used a phased approach to launch the NLC. In Phase 1 beginning on July 24, 2023, nurses with active RN or LPN MSLs from other states were able to begin practicing in Washington. Phase 2, launched today, enables nurses who reside in Washington to apply for MSLs.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. Washington nurses and state residents reap the benefits from NLC participation,” stated Alison Bradywood, Executive Director of WABON.

She continued, “The NLC supports nurses in providing care for patients across state lines, gives our nurses the flexibility to practice in other states, and helps bring additional nurses to Washington state.”

The application process for an MSL is expected to take two to three weeks and includes completion of an FBI background check. The fee to upgrade existing Washington RN or LPN licenses is $65. Renewal of the Washington multistate license will be an additional $20 after the conversion. The annual fee to maintain an active single state license in Washington remains unchanged. Licensees who upgrade will retain the same license number.

Visit WABON for more information about MSLs and the NLC, including benefits of the MSL, details for employers, nurses and military spouses.