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Border State License Recognition Facts

The law regarding license recognition for nurses from border states took effect on January 1, 2003.  The law may be accessed on the Board’s website:

Border State License Recognition Facts

  • Border State Registry Eligibility

    To qualify for practice as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in Minnesota without a Minnesota nursing license, the nurse must:

    • Have a current nursing license in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. 

    • Reside in the border state in which the nurse has a current license. 
    • Not have current or past adverse action against the nursing license in the border state. 

    • Not be participating in an alternative or diversion program for health professionals whose illness may impair their ability to practice safely or referred by the courts for participation in an alternative or diversion program. 

    • Not have been refused a license to practice nursing in Minnesota or have current adverse action against a Minnesota nursing license that removed the nurse’s authority to practice. 

    • Be employed by a hospital, clinic, prepaid medical plan, or other health care institution or organization located in Minnesota. 

  • Border State Registry Ineligibility
    • Nurses employed by temporary agencies or agencies whose primary purpose is other than health care must have a current Minnesota nursing license to practice nursing in Minnesota.

    • Examples of employers whose primary purpose is other than health care are schools, correctional facilities, and manufacturing facilities. 

    • Minnesota Board of Nursing rules require that each registered nurse faculty member must have a Minnesota registered nurse license and current registration.

    • The law applies only to the practice of professional or practical nursing; an advanced practice registered nurse may not practice under the Border State Recognition Law.

    • A nurse with a current Minnesota license is not eligible for border state recognition until the Minnesota license has expired.

    • Other states’ nursing licenses, including a license labeled “Multistate,” are not valid in Minnesota, except under identified legal circumstances.

  • Nurse Obligations to be on the Border State Registry
    • Meet the Border State Registry eligibility requirements listed above. 

    • Report each Minnesota employment to the Minnesota Board of Nursing within 10 days of employment in Minnesota and include a copy of the current license from the border state.  

    • Mail a completed Border State License Recognition Report of Employment form and fee to the Board office.  The form is available on the Board’s web site: 
      Go to mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/nursing/  
      Click on the Applicants tab 
      Click on the Border State Registry link 
      Click on Border State License Recognition Report of Employment link

    • Practice according to the laws and rules of Minnesota and be accountable to the regulatory
      authority of the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

  • Nurse Requirements to Remain on the Border State Registry
    • Submit a new Border State License Recognition Report of Employment form to the Minnesota Board of Nursing within 10 days of renewal of the border state license. 

    • Submit a new Border State License Recognition Report of Employment form to the Minnesota Board of Nursing within 10 days of ceasing the reported Minnesota employment.  

    • Submit a new Border State License Recognition Report of Employment form and fee to the Minnesota Board of Nursing within 10 days of beginning another Minnesota employment. 

    • Inform the Board of any name or address changes.
  • Nurse Requirements to Inform the Board When No Longer Eligible to be on the Border State
    • Cease practicing in Minnesota if the nurse no longer resides in the border state. 

    • Apply for a Minnesota nursing license if the nurse becomes a resident of Minnesota and continues nursing employment in Minnesota. 

    • Notify the Minnesota Board of Nursing when no longer employed in Minnesota.  This information may be e-mailed to the Board at nursing.board@state.mn.us or sent to the Board’s mailing address. 

    • Notify the Minnesota Board of Nursing if your nurse license has adverse action or you are participating in an alternative or diversion program.

  • Employer Responsibilities
    • Determine the nurse is a resident of the border state in which the nurse has a current license. 

    • Verify the nurse is on the registry initially and each time the license is renewed.  Fax a completed Verification of Border State License Registry Status form to the Board; the form is available on the Board’s website:
      o Go to mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/nursing/ 
      o Click on the Applicants tab
      o Click on the Border State Registry link
      o Click on Verification of Registry Status Request
      o Fax the completed form to the Board office 

    • Verify the license in the border state is current. To verify a current license, use the license number of the nurse. The websites and phone numbers for each of the verification systems of the states are as follows:
      o Iowa:  www.state.ia.us/nursing/ or 515-281-3255 (license verification telephone system)
      o North Dakota:  www.ndbon.org/verify_renew/verify_default.asp
      o South Dakota:  www.ifmc.sd.gov/ 
      o Wisconsin:  www.online.drl.wi.gov/  or 608-266-0145 (license verification telephone system). 

    • Report alleged violations of the Nurse Practice to the Minnesota Board of Nursing.