Top 3 Telehealth Multistate Licensure Tips for the Nurse Practitioner
So you want to dip into telehealth as a nurse practitioner? GREAT! Make sure your seats and tray tables are in their upright and locked position!! The pandemic put telehealth on the menu and telehealth is here to stay. The good news is that there are many new and up-and-coming telehealth start-up companies looking for advanced practice nurses just like you! My name is Natalie Merino, I work in Telehealth full time as a nurse practitioner seeing and treating occupational health patients, and have 17 nurse practitioner licenses with more pending. Today, I’m sharing with you my top 3 Telehealth multistate licensure tips!!
First things first, I do not recommend Telehealth jobs for new nurse practitioners fresh out of school. I strongly recommend getting experience first. Working in Telehealth requires critical thinking skills and differential diagnosis skills often not taught in Graduate School. Working in Telehealth you, the NP, are on your own solo, without much support. There is a reason why many remote or telehealth companies require NP experience and often NP licenses in four to five-plus states. There is a big learning curve being a new grad.
The Importance of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)
The first step is checking if you live in a compact state. Currently, there are 39 states inside the U.S. that are part of the agreement, so chances are you live in a state that allows you to upgrade your RN license to a multistate compact license. This allows you to upgrade your RN license to a multistate RN license, and makes it much easier to apply for NP licenses in compact states. Trust me when I say it’s definitely worth the investment and will make your life easier when applying for licenses!
If you live in a state that is NOT part of the NLC, like California, Washington, Illinois or New York then, unfortunately, you must apply to each state one at a time, RN application first. Pennsylvania enacted the NLC in July 2021, but the implementation date is TBD. Also, consider contacting your home state governor, senator, legislators for bill creation supporting the NLC.
Applying for multi-state licensure can be tedious, time-consuming, and costly. Consider using a spreadsheet, blank piece of paper, google or Word doc, or chart divided by each state with pending required items. When contacting each state Board of Nursing, be patient as you may be on hold for some time, and be ready to have the date of when items like transcripts or fingerprints were submitted or mailed.
Get Licensed in the Popular Telehealth States
Not all 50 states are needed or highly sought after by telehealth companies. From personal experience, the most popular telehealth states are California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Some may have the opinion that “you should only get licensed in states that are Full practice authority or FPA”, but if you can find a collaborative physician for the big popular telehealth states like California or Texas, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me what you think! Do you agree? Do you have any more tips to add to this list? I have a nice licensure spreadsheet to help you stay organized! The spreadsheet has a tab for NP licenses, hyperlinks to the BON and scope of practice ( full or reduced) and the RN has a column for compact or note. The licensure spreadsheet is $25, I take Cash app, Venmo, Zelle. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org