Frequently Asked Questions
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Disaster Relief in North Carolina

  1. I am a nurse licensed out-of-state and would like to volunteer to help North Carolina disaster victims. Will my nursing license from another state be acceptable?

  2. Where can I volunteer my services as a licensed nurse?

  3. How can I work as a Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina from another state?

  4. During a disaster, can I be required to come to work? If I refuse, does this constitute patient abandonment? If I do report for work, what do I do if my employer requires me to stay longer than my designated shift and I am fatigued?

  1. I am a nurse licensed out-of-state and would like to volunteer to help North Carolina disaster victims. Will my nursing license from another state be acceptable?

    During periods of official disaster designation, nurses from states outside of North Carolina (NC) are authorized to practice in NC in an organized system/facility, with the American Red Cross, or with other official Disaster Relief Organizations under the following guidelines:

    • Nurses holding an active, unrestricted multi-state license in any Nurse Licensure Compact State can practice in North Carolina at any time.
    • Nurses holding an active, unrestricted single state license in a non-compact state can practice in North Carolina during periods of official disaster designation.
    • Prior to you practicing nursing, the employing system/facility, the American Red Cross, or other official Disaster Relief Organizations, must verify active, unrestricted licensure of all nurses (Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse), from all states (compact and non-compact). Licensure information can be verified easily through "NURSYS QuickConfirm License Verification." The agency is responsible for keeping a list of names of all nurses volunteering in North Carolina and verification of their unencumbered, active license for at least one year.
  2. Where can I volunteer my services as a licensed nurse?

    You can volunteer through a volunteer organization such as the American Red Cross, an employing North Carolina healthcare system/facility, or other official Disaster Relief Organization. The eligibility requirements for volunteers is available at the official American Red Cross website.

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not need to approve the organization or agency in which you choose to volunteer.

  3. How can I work as a Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina from another state?

    A Nurse Practitioner working in North Carolina from out-of-state must be supervised by a physician licensed with the North Carolina Medical Board.

    Additional information can be found at: https://www.ncbon.com/news-publications-statistics-frequently-asked-questions-nurse-practitioner 

  4. During a disaster, can I be required to come to work? If I refuse, does this constitute patient abandonment? If I do report for work, what do I do if my employer requires me to stay longer than my designated shift and I am fatigued?

    In a disaster situation, available caregivers and managers/administrators need to work together to provide care for essential client needs while assuring rest periods for one another.

    It is essential that Registered Nurse managers/administrators and nursing staff work together to provide safe care to all clients in a manner consistent with nursing law and rules. Clear communication is essential to arrive at solutions that best focus on essential client care needs without compromising either patient safety or a nurse’s license. Short staffing and extended work hours pose considerable challenges for licensed nurses and managers/administrators in emergency situations.

    For more specific information regarding Extended Work Hours, Short Staffing, and Abandonment, please review the North Carolina Board of Nursing position statement titled, Staffing and Patient/ Client Safety.

    *The North Carolina Board of Nursing and the Division of Health Service Regulation have issued a Joint Position Statement on Nursing Work Environments that may provide additional guidance.

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