Moving to Nebraska and want to be a nurse, dental hygienist or athletic trainer? You’re in luck! New laws allow you to obtain a one-year temporary license in several health-related professions.
If you’re not relocating to the Cornhusker State, you can still take advantage of military spouse licensing agreements. Many states have streamlined professional licensing for military spouses.
Which states? Which licenses?
According to Military OneSource, 49 states have agreements in place to help military spouses through the licensing process. Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not currently have reciprocity agreements specifically for military spouses.
New York is not indicated to have military spouse specific reciprocity on the map. However, as of March 2017, New York does offer simplified licensing options in many professions for military spouses. There is an application process that is New York specific and your license must be in good standing in another state. Applicants also must pay the appropriate fee and submit the application for their desired license.
This process is true for the rest of the United States as well.
Each state requires a different application process to obtain a reciprocal license. Every state requires that applicants verify their military spouse status. To complete the application you will also need to provide evidence of a current license and/or education from another state. This will require providing transcripts, copies of your license(s) and supporting documents.
There may also be additional requirements in many states. These requirements may include:
- proof of employment
- professional exams or equivalent assessments
- fingerprints or background check
- first aid, AED and/or CPR certifications
There are also different professions that are considered eligible in each state. Some states don’t appear to target or exclude specific fields. Other states are limited to education professionals. Still other states exclude lawyers and teachers.
The license you can obtain also varies. Some states offer a temporary license as a hold over until the professional license is approved. In many states, the application process is expedited. Often a longer-term provisional license is granted in lieu of a full certification. This can allow professionals to complete additional requirements for full licensure.
What if my license isn’t covered?
For many professions, there aren’t national certification standards. While there are lots of similarities, especially in medicine and health professions, there are also lots of differences.
States naturally tend to favor candidates who have completed education in their jurisdiction. Especially in education and legal professions, there may be statutes and requirements specific to each state.
However, before you give up hope, check out the state licensing agency for your profession. For educators, that is usually the department of education. For lawyers, it is the state bar association. Other professions, like medicine, health or beauty, all have licensing boards. While there might not be specific language related to military spouses, there are usually avenues for professionals who have been prepared out of state or who are seeking reciprocity with a current license.
If you have questions, contact the office indicated by your professional licensing agency. With a few questions, you might be able to clarify the process or ask about military spouse licensing statutes. A new program might have been put in place and not publicized!
Are there any hidden issues?
Reciprocity, whether you are seeking it through a military spouse certification program or through other avenues, seems to mean that if you bring a current license from State A, then you should get a similar license from State B.
This is not always the case.
In some states, certain professions have employment requirements in order to obtain a reciprocal license. This is often seen with teachers. This clause means that applicants must have completed a certain number of years working professionally in order to qualify for reciprocity.
There are often state-specific professional exams. This is the case for lawyers and teachers, as well as other professions. Unless there are other programs in place, applicants might need to pass these tests in order to be licensed. It can pay to keep your results from previous states’ tests and ask the licensing board to review those before you pay for the new tests.
Bottom line: if your profession requires a license, it is in your best interest to reach out to the licensing agency in your new state.