Note: Due to the ever-changing needs of the COVID-19 crisis, RN licensure requirements are subject to change if the state revokes an emergency declaration. Please check the NCSBN website or contact the state specific Board of Nursing for the most accurate information at time of hire.
Healthcare workers have been surviving in short staffed units for years. All nurses have known that if the number of patients were to suddenly and dramatically increase, hospitals would be operating in crisis mode. COVID-19 has brought this level of panic upon our healthcare system. The potential number of healthcare providers needed to care for the rapid influx of patients into our hospitals is at an all time high. Travel nurses have become the solution to this problem, and facilities are paying a premium price in an attempt to keep patients safe. Check out COVID-19 jobs on NurseFly. There are a massive amount of high-pay of jobs in the hard hit states.
Due to the national staffing shortage caused by coronavirus some states have waived licensure requirements. Other states have expedited their online processing to a single day to allow for out of state workers to aid in the crisis. The NCSBN website explains the changes to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and the addition of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
Many states have submitted an 1135 waiver, which would allow them to employ out of state health care workers pursuant to emergency. All states, including Washington D.C, have declared a state of emergency. The waiver allows states to make changes to licensure regulations, but does not necessarily mean the state board has waived all RN license regulations.
When applying for a COVID 19 travel nurse job, please follow up with your recruiter for the most recent and accurate state licensing information.
States Where Travel Nurses Can Practice with Any Active License
Alabama-May practice up to 30 days with a license from another state. After 30 days you must obtain a 90 day permit
California– The facility where the travel nurse will be working must register them with the state. This process takes 2-4 days. The announcement made in the news release on March 31 does not allow out of state RNs to practice without going through the Emergency Medical Services Authority (see Authorization of Out of State Medical Personnel section). The Governor has also waived examination and CEU requirements for active licenses and the reinstatement requirements for inactive, retired, or canceled RN licenses.
Colorado– The state has allowed extension of nurse licensure compact to allow out of state nurses to work in Colorado. It is also taking provisions to allow providers licensed in other non compact states to practice.
Connecticut– Licensure regulations suspended for 60 days
Louisiana– emergency permits valid for 60 days
Montana– Out of state travel RNs can register to work without a Montana RN license
New Hampshire– UPDATED. May practice in state without a license
North Carolina– License requirements waived for ’emergency areas’
Oregon– Must receive authorization to work in the state
Texas-Travel nurses must follow the process on the website to practice in Texas
Vermont– Waiver signed March 30th allowing out of state RNs to work but you must register with the website.
Washington– RNs can work without a state specific license with Department of Health (DOH) authorization
Wyoming– See page 20
States Expediting RN Licensure
Alaska– Issuing temporary 30 day non-renewable licenses to out-of-state RNs
Arizona– Issuing emergency temporary licenses within 48 hours.
Georgia– Expedited temporary permits
Illinois– Waiving fees and expedited licensure
Kansas– Expedited temporary 90 day licensure
Maine– Expedited licensure
Massachusetts– Expedited single day processing
Minnesota– Processing time for 60 day temporary licensure is 1-2 days.
Mississippi– Authorization of rapid temporary permits
New Jersey– Accelerated temporary license
New Mexico– Temporary licenses available
Pennsylvania– Temporary waivers for license
Rhode Island– 90 day temporary licensure available
Virginia– Allowing for reinstatement of inactive licenses
Any state not listed is considered to have standard rules and regulations regarding licensure. But, those regulations may change at any point in time due the fluidity of the coronavirus situation. Please confirm with your recruiter and check the state’s board of nursing website for the most up to date information.