Is North Carolina a Compact State for Nursing?

There are 122,000 registered nurses in North Carolina. Nursing is a licensed profession in all 50 states.

To create uniform standards and improve professional mobility, many states have joined the eNLC – the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact. Participating practitioners may take their services to other member states without additional licensing requirements or fees.

Here, our experienced Charlotte nursing license defense lawyers will explain the eNLC and what you need to know if you’re facing disciplinary action.

North Carolina As a Compact State for Nursing

North Carolina became a compact state for nursing when it passed the Nurse Licensure Compact effective January 19, 2018. Nurses licensed in North Carolina may practice in other states without having to complete an additional application or pay additional fees.

What is the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

The Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) is legislation that passed in many states and territories that allows for license transferability for nurses between party states. Rather than having to apply for a license in each state where the nurse wants to practice, a nurse who holds a license in a member state may practice in any state that is a participant. eNLC states have uniform license requirements and applicant background checks.

The eNLC replaces the Nurse Licensure Compact. Some states refused to join the original NLC. They cited concerns about state autonomy and quality standards from broadly transferrable licensing. The eNLC aims to address these concerns.

What is the purpose of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact?

The purpose of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact is to allow nurses to more freely provide services in participating states and facilitate the provision of nursing services in member states. The law removes the cumbersome nature of duplicative licensing, allowing for information sharing between states. It allows for the exchange of disciplinary information through a shared database to promote public safety.

Does the eNLC apply to telemedicine?

Yes, the eNLC applies to telemedicine services. A nurse licensed in a Compact state may provide telemedicine services to a patient in another member state.

How many states are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact?

As of June 2023, 40 jurisdictions are part of the NLC or eNLC. (NCBSN, Participating Jurisdictions).

The North Carolina Nursing Compact and Disciplinary Procedures

Each eNLC participant must designate a home state. Just as home states can take appropriate disciplinary action on a nursing license, member states may also act on a nurse’s privilege to practice in their state. Nurses must comply with practice laws in each state where they practice. They may be disciplined for professional misconduct, violations of state law, and controlled substance violations.

The eNCL requires reporting and documentation of investigative results through the Nursys® system.

What Nurses Need to Know About the eNCL

A licensed nurse needs to take any potential disciplinary action seriously. Discipline taken against a nurse may affect their ability to practice in their home state as well as in member states.

A licensed nurse cannot avoid an investigation by changing their primary state. Disciplinary information is shared between states. Any state may discipline or suspend practice privileges in their own state, and investigation findings can impact the person’s ability to practice in other party states. Only the nurse’s home state may act against the nurse’s practice privileges in the home state.

Types of disciplinary measures may include:

  • Fines, monetary penalties
  • Substance abuse recovery and support
  • Public reprimand
  • Limitation on practice roles, hours, or settings
  • Suspension
  • Education or training
  • Revocation or surrender of license

A nurse should address disciplinary investigations or procedures against them. It is critical to ensuring their right to practice in their home state as well as in member states and by telemedicine.

A complaint may begin in the home state or a remote state. The state receiving the complaint determines the nurse’s state of residence and whether it’s appropriate to start an investigation.

When multiple states have received a complaint, the state that takes the lead may be the one with the most convenient access to witnesses, documents, and other evidence. The home state follows its own investigatory and disciplinary procedures.

It is the home state that can revoke the person’s home state license and ultimately revoke the person’s ability to practice nursing in all party states. A remote state may revoke or limit the multi-state licensure in that state. However, investigatory information is shared, including with the person’s home state.

Any potential action must be taken seriously, wherever it occurs. It may affect your license and ability to work in your home state and in all party states.

Lawyer for North Carolina Nursing License Defense

Remington & Dixon, PLLC is a Charlotte law firm that represents North Carolina nurses and nurses practicing in North Carolina under the eNCL. If you are facing disciplinary action or an investigation, we can represent you. Your response must be aggressive and strategic, evaluating all relevant factors and building your case, and we can help. We can assist you in responding to the allegations, fighting the charges, and protecting your rights as you protect your career.

For information about how we can help you and to start your case today, contact our office in Charlotte today for a consultation.


Are consultations free?

While we offer a free consultation on traffic matters, criminal matters, and most professional license defense cases, we charge a fee for family law consultations to personalize our consultations to your specific needs. To learn about our fee structure, please get in touch.

Where can I get legal advice?

We recommend meeting with an attorney. While there is free legal help available for North Carolina residents from pro bono resources for civil matters, and public defenders for criminal cases, the best way to access tailored advice is to hire a lawyer.

Can I hire you if I’m in another state?

This is done on a case by case basis if you are involved in a family law, criminal, or professional disciplinary matter that involves another jurisdiction.



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