Ohio Nurses Can Begin Applying for Multi-State Licenses on January 1st

With the unanimous passage of State Senator Kristina Roegner‘s (R-Hudson) Senate Bill (SB) 3 last year, nurses in Ohio will soon be able to choose a multistate license (MSL) through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

Beginning on January 1st, 2023, registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and nursing students will be able to apply for an MSL which will permit them to practice in any of the 37 other states that have joined under the NLC.

The NLC provides consistent standards across each state in the compact allowing a nurse to hold one MSL in their primary state of residence while practicing virtually or over state lines in 37 other compact states across the country.

“The NLC expands economic opportunity for Ohio’s nurses by giving them the flexibility to provide care to patients located in other Compact states without having to obtain additional licenses through a costly and time-consuming process. Reducing unnecessary or redundant licensure restrictions is critical for attracting and retaining high-quality professionals in Ohio,” Roegner said.

The Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) said that MSLs are exciting news for nurses and the state.

“A multistate license gives Ohio nurses the power to pursue the careers of their dreams and makes it easier to fill professional nursing jobs in our state. The licensing innovation will give Ohioans more of the high-quality nursing care they deserve,” Executive Director of the OBN Marlene Anielski said.

The new license will also make providing care across state lines more efficient. According to Brian and RN Victoria Behl from Wisconsin, whether or not Ohio joined the NLC was a major factor in determining if they moved to the state.

“Ideally, we would move to a State that is part of the NLC so my wife’s RN license would “transfer,” Brian Behl said.

The Buckeye Institute said that joining the compact will help grow Ohio’s workforce and capacity for healthcare.

“The nursing compact will make it easier for Ohio to recruit qualified, trained, and licensed nurses from other states and U.S. territories, an advantage that will grow Ohio’s workforce and healthcare capacity,” Buckeye Institute research fellow Greg Lawson said.

According to the Assistant Dean of Chamberlain University Kelly Cloonan DNP, CNE, MSN, RN, IAC, adding Ohio into the compact allows more job and education opportunities.

“As nurses, we take one national examination to prove we are ready for care at the bedside. We have one set of ethical principles as our guide. We should have one license to provide our country with the best care possible where the needs are the greatest. Adding Ohio into the compact allows Ohioans to have more opportunities, both through job opportunities and educational opportunities,” Cloonan said.

According to the OBN, to convert their current single-state nursing license into an MSL, nurses must meet a set of uniform licensing standards, meet all of Ohio’s licensure requirements, and clear state and federal criminal background checks.

“All of us at OBN look forward to welcoming nurses to the Buckeye state and removing workforce barriers. We hope they find everything they’re looking for bother personally and professionally, right here in the great state of Ohio,” Anielski said.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]


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