Navigating Licensing for Travel Nurses Across States

licensing for travel nurses

Sharing is caring!

Travel nurses often need to navigate licensing requirements across multiple states in order to work in different locations. Here are the steps typically involved in obtaining and managing nursing licenses across states:


1. Determine Your Destination


First, decide which states you are interested in working in as a travel nurse. Make sure to prioritize states based on your preferences, job opportunities, and licensing requirements.


Travel nurses should start by considering their personal preferences and career goals. Factors to consider include the desired location, type of healthcare facility, patient population, climate, cost of living, and proximity to family and friends.


Once preferences are clear, research potential destinations. Online resources, as well as your recruiter provides information about job opportunities, cost of living, state licensing requirements, and more. Make a list of potential states and cities that align with your preferences. At Phaxis, we help you find the right destination for you depending on your goals and preferences.


2. Research State Nursing Boards


Each state has its own nursing board or regulatory agency responsible for licensing nurses. Visit the website of the nursing board in each state you’re interested in to understand their specific requirements, application processes, and fees. Some states have compact agreements that make it easier for nurses to practice across state lines.


If you’re traveling to a non-compact state, apply for a nursing license in that state. The application process varies from state to state and involves submitting transcripts, paying fees, and providing verification of your existing license and credentials. It often takes several weeks to months, so plan accordingly.


3. Meet Educational and Examination Requirements


Ensure that you meet the educational and examination requirements for each state in which you plan to work. This typically includes having a valid RN or LPN/LVN license, meeting continuing education requirements, and passing any required exams.


Some states issue temporary licenses to travel nurses while their regular licenses are being processed. These temporary licenses allow you to start working in the state while waiting for your permanent license to be approved.


Once you have licenses in multiple states, it’s important to stay compliant with each state’s requirements. This includes renewing licenses on time, completing required continuing education, and staying informed about changes in regulations.

Search jobs


4. Consider Compact Nursing Licenses


If you plan to work in states that are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), apply for a multi-state nursing license that allows you to practice in any participating state without obtaining separate licenses. However, you must meet the compact’s eligibility criteria, which varies.


5. Keep Records


Different states have varying requirements for nursing licensure and practice. Keeping records of your licenses, certifications, and other documentation ensures that you remain in compliance with each state’s regulations. Failure to do so could lead to legal issues and jeopardize your ability to practice as a nurse in a specific state.


Travel nurse agencies and potential employers often require copies of your licenses, certifications, and other relevant documents. Keeping these documents up to date and well-organized makes it easier to provide the necessary information when requested.


6. Consult with a Recruiter


Recruiters often have a deep understanding of the licensing requirements in various states. They help you navigate the complex process of obtaining and maintaining the necessary licenses, ensuring you meet all the state-specific requirements.


Doing all of this on your own is overwhelming, that is why Phaxis recruiters are here to help! The process of obtaining licenses in multiple states is time-consuming and confusing. A recruiter streamlines the process by providing you with guidance, assistance with paperwork, and helping you meet deadlines.


Phaxis connects you with travel nursing assignments in states where you already hold licenses or are in the process of obtaining them. This opens more job opportunities and makes your travel nursing experience more flexible. We have extensive networks within the healthcare industry and advocate for our travelers to potential employers and facilities, increasing their chances of finding the right assignments.


In addition, we assist with contract negotiations, helping you secure favorable compensation packages and benefits for your travel nursing assignments. If you encounter any challenges or issues during your assignments, a Phaxis recruiter provides support and advocates on your behalf to resolve issues with your employer or facility. We know that travel nursing involves complying with various healthcare regulations and industry standards, that is why Phaxis helps you stay informed about these requirements and ensure you’re in compliance.


Navigating nursing licensure across states is complex, but careful planning and attention to each state’s specific requirements helps you successfully obtain and maintain the necessary licenses for your travel nursing career. Need help navigating your travel nurse licensure? Phaxis is here to help! Contact one of our recruiters today!

About Phaxis

Founded in 2002, Phaxis is now one of the country’s leading recruitment firms. Specializing in healthcare, information technology, accounting, financial services recruitment, office support, legal, HR, and marketing, Phaxis partners with highly qualified talent and top employers to create rewarding career opportunities that result in long-term success for candidates and employers. Visit us at

Drew Anson

Chief Delivery Officer

Drew Anson is Chief Delivery Officer at Phaxis, a Workforce Solutions Company based in New York.

In this role, Drew leads the delivery and recruiting working closely with the leadership team to define a model that is efficient at supporting the firm’s current needs and is scalable for future growth.

Drew is a seasoned executive with more than 13 years of Services & Recruitment experience. In that time, he has supported numerous Fortune 100/500/1000 organizations across industries by providing global workforce solutions, namely resources and thought leadership for large-scale projects, implementations, and managed services.

Prior to joining Phaxis predecessor firm Park Hudson in 2021, Drew spent three years at engineering technology and talent solutions firm, Collabera, as Director of Sales in North Carolina. Earlier in his career, he spent nearly eight years at Insight Global, most recently as Sales Manager of the Columbus, OH office.

He holds a degree from Central Michigan University in Sales & Marketing.

Favorite Book:   Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
Favorite Team:   Michigan Wolverines
Inspirational Quote:  “There is no substitute for hard work.”  – Thomas A. Edison