Governor McKee Announces Rhode Island has Joined Compact for Interstate Nurse Licensing


This change expands Rhode Island workforce for eligible RNs and LPNs 



PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are announcing today that Rhode Island has joined the national Nurse Licensure Compact, allowing nurses in 41 states who hold a Multi-State License to come to Rhode Island and work. Rhode Island nurses with Multi-State Licenses will also be able to work in any of these other states. 


“Nurses are the backbone of our state's healthcare facilities,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Amid the current national healthcare worker shortage, we are doing everything we can to make it convenient and attractive for them to work in Rhode Island.”


“Rhode Island’s healthcare system has been pressure tested throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, illuminating both its strengths and the existence and impacts of gaps and pain points that existed even prior to the pandemic,” said Rhode Island Executive Health and Human Services Secretary Richard Charest. “Under Governor McKee’s leadership, we are focused on implementing changes that strengthen our healthcare workforce through education, recruitment, licensure, and retention. The national Nurse Licensure Compact lessens the administrative burden on nurses and gives our state access to more licensed professionals.”


This change affects registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who are currently licensed in Rhode Island or who are applying for initial licensure. Within these license categories, three groups of people are impacted. 


·     Anyone who is currently licensed in Rhode Island and who has Rhode Island as their primary state of residency will be applying for a Multi-State License when renewing next (March 1, 2024, or March 1, 2025). 


·     Anyone who is currently licensed in Rhode Island and whose primary state of residency is a Compact State will receive a Multi-State License when renewing, and have their single-state Rhode Island license changed to inactive. 


·     Anyone who is currently licensed in Rhode Island and whose primary state of residency is not a Compact State will continue to work in Rhode Island with a single-state license. Their license status will not change, and they will renew their license by their scheduled renewal date. 


“Any nurse who practices in Rhode Island under a Multi-State License will be held to the same professional standards as a nurse with a single-state license. Our standards for quality will remain as high as ever,” said Interim Director Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH. “Our goal in joining this compact is reducing the time that qualified nurses spend filling out multiple licensing applications and making these workers available to patients for care as soon as possible in Rhode Island.” 


Licensed nurses can find more information, quick reference charts, and updated forms on RIDOH’s Nurse Licensure Compact web page. Anyone looking to verify any type of RN or LPN license can visit the Nursys website.