Is Nursing Licensure the Same From One State to Another?

No, each state has its own regulatory board for licensing nurses. While some regulations may overlap from state to state, it is important to know exactly what your desired licensing board will require of you.

In particular, states generally have similar requirements in order to become a Registered or Licensed Practical Nurse, but may vary widely on requirements for specific nursing specialties. Some states are part of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), which establishes that one NLC state will allow nurses licensed in another NLC state to practice in that state. For more information on the NLC, including a map of NLC states, visit the NCSBN website.

Back to Nursing Certification FAQs

Sponsored Online Nursing Programs


Earn an MS in Nursing online from Georgetown University.

  • Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 23 months
  • Choose from one of four APRN specialty areas: AG-ACNP, FNP, NM/WHNP, or WHNP
  • Gain hands-on clinical experience in evidence-based practice

Earn a Master of Science in Nursing online from Simmons University.

  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Preparation to pursue certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Part-time, full-time, and extended plans of study

Earn your MSN online from USC’s Top-Ranked School of Social Work.

  • Prepares RNs to pursue board certification as family nurse practitioners
  • Earn a CCNE-accredited MSN in as few as 21 months
  • Choose from part-time and full-time study options