On April 21, 2023, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5499 Multistate Nurse Licensure Compact, the legislation that enacted the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), into law.
The Washington State Board of Nursing (board) is implementing the NLC in two phases.
- Phase 1, beginning July 24, was successfully completed allowing nurses with an active RN or LPN multistate license (MSL) from another state to practice in Washington state.
- We are currently in Phase 2 which will allow the board to offer and issue Washington multistate licenses to nurses.
We appreciate your patience as we work to complete Phase 2. This phase requires the board to establish the Washington state RN and LPN multistate license in rule including the associated fees, develop the application process, and build the new credential in our licensing system.
- At the board's September 7, 2023 business meeting, the board was presented several different fee scenarios for the multistate license.
- The board voted on an initial, one-time $65 fee for both RNs and LPNs applying for initial multistate licensure and for those upgrading their “single state” license. This fee is in addition to the established application fee for each license ($138 for RNs, $93 for LPNs). If approved through the rule making process, the total fees for the initial multistate license would be $203 for RNs and $158 for LPNs.
- The board also voted on a $20 fee for RN and LPN multistate licensure annual renewal in addition to the established renewal fee for each license ($138 for RNs, $93 for LPNs). Renewals of the multistate license would be $158 for RN and $113 for LPN.
We anticipate being able to offer and issue multistate licenses in early 2024. For more information about our rulemaking process, please visit our website at www.nursing.wa.gov.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to renew or apply for a Washington single state license?
If you have an active multistate license issued from another state: No, you do not need to renew or apply for a Washington single state license.
You are able to practice with your active multistate license in Washington state. If you work for a mandatory employer, you will need to report your MSL status to your employer and make sure you meet employment requirements.
What do I need to do before I move to Washington state?
The required steps will vary based on the moving scenario.
When moving to Washington state from another state with a multistate license, a nurse may continue to practice under the existing multistate license. If Washington is your primary state of residence, you should apply for a Washington multistate as soon as the Washington State Board of Nursing begins issuing them.
The board anticipates being able issue Washington multistate licenses in early 2024.
If your multistate license expires before February 2024 and your primary state of residence will be Washington, you should plan to apply for a WA single state license to avoid a lapse in privilege to practice in Washington. Once Washington begins issuing multistate licenses, you may convert to a multistate WA license.
My employer or staffing agency is telling me I need to get a Washington state license. Is this true?
When hired in a remote state for a temporary position or commuting to a remote state from the primary state of residence (usually an adjacent state), employers should not require you to apply for licensure in the remote state when you have lawfully declared another state as your primary state of residence (PSOR). PSOR is based on where you pay federal income tax, vote and/or hold a driver’s license. The remote state nursing regulatory body cannot issue a license to a nurse who has declared another compact state as the PSOR, since the multistate license from the home state applies to both states. You have the privilege to practice in any remote compact state with your multistate license.
For questions relating to Washington state’s implementation of the NLC, please email email@example.com.
Washington State Board of Nursing
Washington State Department of Health