Nurse Licensure Changes by State in Response to COVID-19



The entire country’s medical system is continuing to adapt to the shifting demands of COVID-19. Keeping track of it all can be tricky, since the various states are modifying their arrangements in different ways. To make things more convenient, here is a quick summary of changes in nursing licensure, organized by state.


Segments will evaluate a state’s support of a Nurse Licensure Compact (or a multi-state license that allows nurses to practice in other states), changes in licensure wait time and a host of other miscellaneous rule changes.



For further information, each section ends with a link to the respective state’s Board of Nursing website.



Alabama


  • Nurses must initiate their licensure applications.

  • Licensure wait time: 48 hours

  • Nurse Licensure Compact : Yes

  • Alabama Board of Nursing

Alaska


  • Nurses must initiate their licensure applications.

  • Licensure wait time: 10-15 days; potentially expedited

  • Due to COVID-19, 14 days of quarantine may be required before working following inter-US travel

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Alaska Board of Nursing

American Samoa


Arizona


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized.

  • Licensure wait time: 30 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Arizona Board of Nursing

Arkansas


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if sufficient time to process application (see wait time)

  • Licensure wait time: 2 weeks; potentially expedited

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Arkansas Board of Nursing

California


  • Nurses must have an active CA nursing license.

  • Licensure wait time: 8-10 weeks

  • As of December 18, 2020 - Continuing education requirements for current healthcare licensees and reactivation requirements for inactive, retired, or canceled licenses have both been waived.

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • California Board of Nursing

Colorado


  • Any active license from a compact license (multi or single-state) accepted

  • Licensure wait time: 8 weeks

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Colorado Board of Nursing

Connecticut


Delaware


Washington, D.C.


Florida


  • Nurses must initiate their licensure applications.

  • Licensure wait time: 10-30 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Florida Board of Nursing

Georgia


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process application(see wait time)

  • Licensure wait time: 15 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Georgia Board of Nursing

Guam


  • Submitted 1135 waiver; any active nursing license can apply with the state's BON

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Guam Board of Nursing

Hawaii


  • Any active nursing license

  • Licensure wait time: 1 day

  • Note: 14 days of quarantine may be required before working following inter-US travel

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Hawaii Board of Nursing

Idaho


  • Nurses must initiate their licensure applications.

  • Licensure wait time: 7-10 days; potentially expedited

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Idaho Board of Nursing

Illinois


Indiana


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized.

  • Licensure wait time: 2 weeks

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Indiana Board of Nursing

Iowa


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process application (see wait time)

  • Licensure wait time: 5 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Iowa Board of Nursing

Kansas


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if sufficient time to process application (see wait time)

  • Licensure wait time: 2-4 weeks

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Kansas Board of Nursing

Kentucky


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 2 weeks

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Kentucky Board of Nursing

Louisiana


Maine


  • Nurses must initiate their licensure applications.

  • Licensure wait time: 7 days; potentially expedited

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Maine Board of Nursing

Maryland


Massachusetts


  • Nurses must initiate their licensure applications.

  • Licensure wait time: 2-4 weeks; potentially expedited

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Massachusetts Board of Nursing

Michigan


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 3-5 weeks

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Michigan Board of Nursing

Minnesota


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 1-2 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Minnesota Board of Nursing

Mississippi


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 7-10 days

  • Note: temporary license FAQ

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Mississippi Board of Nursing

Missouri


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 7-10 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Missouri Board of Nursing

Montana


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 10 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Montana Board of Nursing

Nebraska


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 2-3 weeks

  • Note: 14 days of quarantine may be required before working following inter-US travel

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • Nebraska Board of Nursing

Nevada


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 7-10 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • Nevada Board of Nursing

New Hampshire


New Jersey


  • Nurses must initiate their licensure applications.

  • Licensure wait time: 8-12 weeks; potentially expedited

  • Note: Partially implemented nurse licensure compact — nurses holding compact licenses will find their licenses valid in New Jersey (for at least 180 days)

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • New Jersey Board of Nursing

New Mexico


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 5 days

  • Note: 14 days of quarantine may be required before working following inter-US travel

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • New Mexico Board of Nursing

New York


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized.

  • Licensure wait time: 4-6 weeks; potentially expedited

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: No

  • New York Board of Nursing

North Carolina


North Dakota


  • Any active nursing licenses will be recognized, if there is sufficient time to process your application (see wait time).

  • Licensure wait time: 3-5 days

  • Nurse Licensure Compact: Yes

  • North Dakota Board of Nursing