So, how do you work in different states?? Paperwork and money. The only barrier to working in different states is obtaining a license for that state. Don’t be discouraged, it’s only a tiny step in the path on your new journey. Your recruiter can help you along the way with each step to ensure you are licensed in time for the start of your contract. Each state has a website to their board of nursing. The easiest way to navigate what steps to take is to online search your desired destination's state board of nursing website. As you currently or have previously held a nursing license you will need to follow instructions for a license “endorsement”. However, if you have previously been licensed in that state then you will want to “renew” your license. There are 25 states that practice under a compact license. Meaning, if your permanent address (where you file your taxes) is in a compact state then you can get licensed to practice in all states that are members of the multi-state nursing license. For more information on the compact states you can visit NCSBN website (https://www.ncsbn.org/nurse-licensure-compact.htm).
For the remainder of this post assume we are considering non-compact states.
It may be simple enough to get a temporary license. This usually takes less time, but has an additional cost. If you are running short on time this may be the best option for you. Once at your assignment you can look into extending your temporary or getting a permanent license.
As a recommendation, navigate the states you are interested in traveling to in order to see license processing times BUT do nothing more than that until you have an interview and possible contract. However, if there is a state on your "must travel to list" and they have a long process period you may want to go ahead and get started but know without a contract your company will most likely not reimburse you. Which reminds me YES your agency should reimburse you for all your costs associated with getting the license in the state of your assignment. Have this amount included in your contract. Make sure to keep receipts! Aside from paying the state licensing fee, other requirements typically include fingerprints for a background check, proof of graduation from an accredited nursing program, and proof of passing the NCLEX. Also, some states have specific continuing education courses or examinations on state policy. The requirements and directions will be outlined on each State's Board of Nursing website.
Know the specifics for the state you are traveling to.
Find out the typical processing time.
Ask your recruiter for guidance.
Keep all of your receipts.
Be patient but persistent.
Dot your I’s and cross your T’s.
And smile while you’re doing it because you are closer to discovering a new destination!