Currently, Arizona is a participating state in the Nurse Licensure Compact (“NLC”). The NLC in an interstate agreement between participating states that authorizes Licensed Practical Nurses (“LPN”) and Registered Nurses (“RN”) licensed and residing in a participating state to practice in other states that follow the NLC without having to obtain an additional license in that state. Under the NLC the nurse is subject to each state’s practice laws and disciplinary proceedings while practicing in that state.
A nurse holding a license and residing in a state that follows the NLC is free to practice in other states that follow the NLC, except when their practice is limited or restricted in their home state.
The states currently participating in the NLC are as follows: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Arizona law states that any nurse who wishes to practice in Arizona pursuant to the NLC must notify the board if their nursing license has been denied, suspended or revoked in another jurisdiction within the past five years. Additionally, any felony conviction where the nurse did not receive an absolute discharge from the sentence at least five years before the date that the person applies to practice in Arizona pursuant to the NLC must be reported as well. The Arizona Board of Nursing will find that any nurse who fails to report these issues prior to practicing in the state has committed an act of unprofessional conduct and will be subject to discipline.
So, it is important that any nurse who wishes to practice in Arizona pursuant to the NLC, even for a single day, notify the Board of past transgressions or risk discipline. As always, it is much better to report problems at the beginning instead of dealing with a disciplinary act at the end.
If you have a question about the Nurse Licensure Act contact Arizona Attorney Robert Chelle.