Is Texas a Compact State for Nursing?

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Is Texas a compact state for nursing? The answer is yes! Obtaining your license and passing the NCLEX upon graduating from nursing school puts you in a position to get a job in a place where you can obtain a multistate license by enrolling in nursing school in Texas.

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The University of St. Thomas Houston prepares you for a rewarding career as a nurse. Upon graduating from our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Houston, you’ll be well on your way to your dream career. However, you need a license before working as a registered nurse. Luckily, the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) makes obtaining licensure more streamlined and allows greater interstate mobility for nurses.

The NLC was established to lessen the load for nurses who want to work in other NLC states by eliminating the need for a new nursing license in each state. You might wonder what a compact nursing license is and how to apply for one in your state.

We'll make sure you understand every crucial element regarding NLC licensing. So, is Texas a compact state for nursing? Yes! It’s also the perfect place to kick off your nursing career.

Texas Compact License

The University of St. Thomas is in Texas, an NLC state. Graduates of our 12-month ABSN program who pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) qualify for a multi-state license!

After you graduate from nursing school, the last steps before beginning your nursing profession are passing the NCLEX and obtaining your license. By enrolling in nursing school in Texas, you can network and get a job with a multistate license.

1. Complete an ABSN Program

The first step in earning your compact nursing license is graduating from a high-quality ABSN program like the one at the University of St. Thomas. UST’s comprehensive curriculum prepares students to become confident nurses through a combination of online courses, skills and simulation labs and clinical rotations at top healthcare facilities around Texas.

FYI: you’re not required to apply for your nursing license in the state where you attended school unless you plan to work there after graduation. With Texas being an NLC state, it may benefit you to apply for the multi-state license while residing there.

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Check out these 7 nursing school resources.

2. Choose a Compact State

When you choose to get licensed in a state that’s part of the NLC, you’re making an excellent choice for your future as a nurse.

What States are Compact States for Nursing?
The NLC map shows the most up-to-date list of nursing compact states and non-compact states. You must apply in your legal state of residence, so you’ll need documentation of the state where you vote and hold a driver’s license. For example: if you want to reside and work as a nurse in Texas, a state with a compact agreement, you can apply for a compact license from Texas.

3. Complete Your Exams

Once you know the state you want to work in and have the proper documentation, you can start submitting your application.

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As a recent nursing school graduate, you must apply for licensure by exam and approval to test (ATT). This means you’ll need to take the NCLEX to earn your license.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the process:

  • Apply for licensure from the state.
  • Be granted eligibility by the state’s board of nursing.
  • Take your exam.
  • Pass and receive your nursing license from that state.

4. Pass the NCLEX and Receive Your License

You may take the NCLEX in any state after submitting your application for licensure by exam and ATT. You do not need to take the exam in the state where you submit your license application. You will earn your nursing license after being notified that you passed the exam.

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Wondering what it’s like to be a nurse? Check out this blog article that walks through a day in the life of a nurse.

As we mentioned above, upon passing the NCLEX, you’ll receive your initial nursing licensure. If you applied for a multistate license in a state that is part of the compact agreement, you are also eligible to work as a nurse in any other compact state. Score!

What Are the Benefits of Being an NLC Nurse?

NLC nurses can work in telehealth, travel to other states for jobs and aid in disaster situations. They can move between locations much more seamlessly, as nurses licensed in an NLC state can work in another NLC state without going through the effort and lengthy process of applying for a new license. If you’re wondering where to start your nursing career, the answer is Texas, a compact state for nursing.

Holding a compact license is helpful if you:

  • Reside on the other side of the state border from your workplace
  • Work as a travel nurse
  • Work as a nurse offering disaster relief assistance
  • Deliver remote healthcare services to different states

Learn More about Nursing School at UST

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If you’re considering nursing, earning your BSN from the University of St. Thomas is a perfect place to start. Our 12-month accelerated program in Houston offers three start dates each year so you can finish sooner.

Reach out to an admissions advisor to learn more about starting your nursing education through the accelerated nursing program at UST.