Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

South Dakota is a member of the RN and LPN Nurse Licensure Compact (NCL). The NLC can issue a multi-state license (MSL) and authorizes a nurse licensed and residing in a Compact State (home state) to practice in other Compact (remote) States without obtaining additional licensure.

South Dakota joined the NCL in 2001 and the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact in 2018.

Whether you can be issued a MSL depends on your primary state of residence. Primary residence is determined by where you vote, pay taxes, and/or hold a driver's license.

Nurses who are a primary resident of South Dakota, and who meet all other requirements, may be issued a MSL.

If your primary state of residence is:

  • in South Dakota: You can hold a MSL, allowing you to practice in other NLC member states (you must also meet all other licensure requirements). Be prepared to provide documentation upon request to support your claim of residence (e.g. state driver's license, voters registration).
  • no longer in South Dakota but in another NLC state: You may practice nursing in South Dakota and other NLC states using your South Dakota MSL while processing your new nursing license in your new state of residence. After you have been issued your new license from the other NLC state you must then inactivate your South Dakota nursing license.
  • in a state that is NOT a member of the NLC: Your South Dakota MSL will be changed to a single-state nursing license and you can only practice nursing on your South Dakota nursing license within the state of South Dakota. To practice nursing in any other state, you must hold a nursing license in those states.

The NLC facilitates nursing practice among the Compact States by requiring the nurse to maintain active licensure only in the nurse's "primary state of residence," and granting "multi-state privilege" to practice in other Compact States.

This privilege requires the nurse to practice according to the laws and regulations of the state where the nurse practices or provides care. Practice occurs where the patient is located at the time care is provided, physically or electronically. Nursing practice is not limited to patient care, and includes all nursing practice as defined by each Compact State's practice laws.

Learn More About the NLC