March 8, 2024

How to Obtain an Ohio Compact Nursing License

A nurse holding a tablet stands behind the intake counter of a hospital.

Nurses in Ohio now benefit from enhanced professional mobility through the implementation of the National Licensure Compact (NLC). The adoption of the NLC allows nurses in Ohio to obtain a multi-state license (MSL), providing them with the flexibility to practice in numerous states without the need for additional licenses. 

Below we’ll explore the answers to questions nurses in Ohio may have as they navigate applying for or converting to a multi-state license.

Is Ohio a compact nursing license state?

Yes, Ohio is a compact nursing license state as of January 1, 2023. 

Applying for an Ohio Compact Nursing License

Though the Nurse Licensure Compact allows nurses to work across NLC states, nurses will need to apply for licensure with their state’s Board of Nursing. This is also true in Ohio. You can find up-to-date information on the Ohio Board of Nursing website.

Currently, licensed nurses in Ohio have the option to renew their license either as a single-state or multi-state license. If you currently have a single-state nursing license in Ohio but want to convert it to a multi-state license, you will need to submit an MSL Conversion Service Request via the eLicense portal.

Ohio compact nursing license requirements:

  • Meet all Ohio licensure requirements
  • Graduate from a Board approved RN program
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN
  • Hold an active, unencumbered license
  • Submit state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background check
  • Have no convictions or disciplinary action regarding felonies or misdemeanors related to nursing practice
  • Not currently participating in an alternative program - if so, must self-disclose participation in any alternative programs
  • Have a valid United States Social Security number

Why is a compact nursing license beneficial?

A compact state nursing license can offer several benefits to nurses. Here's a list of reasons why nurses might find it advantageous:

  • Mobility and flexibility in where you work
  • Ideal for travel nurses or those who may need to relocate frequently
  • Saves potential money and time spent on maintaining licenses in multiple states
  • More career opportunities available to you
  • Ability to follow patients who move across state lines without interruption in care
  • Ability to respond to emergency and disaster situations that arise across states
  • Expands opportunities to practice via telehealth

How do I know the status of my Ohio nursing license?

Ohio offers a license look-up tool to check the status of your license.

Ohio’s joining of the Nurse Licensure Compact opens up many new opportunities for nurses in the state. Be sure to reference Ohio’s Board of Nursing website for the latest information and updates. If you’re interested in learning more about compact licenses and which states are part of the NLC, check out our compact nursing states blog.

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