Locum Tenens Licensing

Navigating the licensing landscape for locum tenens.

We’re experts at managing the licensing process to help you get to your patients faster. Want to work in a new state, or need help renewing an existing license? Our team will help you every step of the way.

Click here to go directly to our licensing map and learn the turnaround time for licensure in your state.

The licensing process with Jackson + Coker.

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1. Application Prep

First, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Licensing Coordinator to help manage the process. Your Licensing Coordinator will send you a release form to sign, along with a prepopulated state licensing board application and a list of any state licensing requirements.

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2. File Processing

Once you have completed the application, you’ll submit it and the supporting documentation back to your Licensing Coordinator. From there, we will collect any required verifications, including references and work history confirmations, and submit your full application package to the licensing board. If the board requests additional materials, we’ll help you gather them.

3. License Granted

The final approval process may include details like committees and additional signatures. Once those steps are completed, you will receive your license.

Locum tenens licensing map.

The time it takes to gain licensure can vary widely by state, specialty, and type of license. However, working with us often condenses turnaround time and gets you to your assignment faster.

The map below shows our average turnaround time for licensing in each state. Hover over your state to learn more and scroll down to read answers to the most common questions about the licensing process.

Locums licensing FAQs.

Licensing Overview

Proper licensure to practice medicine in the applicable state is needed. This includes a state license (MD, DO, RN, APRN, PA), controlled substance registration (in certain states), and a DEA registration.

Primary source verification is a process in which information is passed directly from the reporter to the requestor. All state licensing boards require this type of verification for credentials like education and work history. Verification can begin at any time in the process.

Controlled Substance Registration (CSR) is a state-authorized license that allows practitioners to prescribe controlled substances (i.e., medication). Some states have different names for this registration, such as Controlled Dangerous Substance Registration (CDSR) or Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Registration (BNDD).

Many states require this license in addition to the standard license and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In these cases, the order in which the licenses must be granted is:

  1. State license.
  2. CSR license.
  3. DEA certificate.

If your specialty involves prescribing substances, yes. DEA registration is required for every state in which you prescribe, distribute, or handle medication. You may hold DEAs in multiple states simultaneously. Additionally, since the DEA certificate is a federal registration, you may change the address of the registration to match the state where you are currently working.

Before you can obtain your DEA license in CSR states, you must first register with PMP/PDMP, an electronic database used to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

The IMLC is a collaboration agreement among participating U.S. states and territories that significantly streamlines the licensing process for physicians who want to practice in multiple states. It offers a voluntary, expedited pathway to licensure for physicians who qualify. Find out more about the IMLC here.

The FCVS is a fast and convenient way for physicians and advanced practitioners to store core credentials that can be used for multiple state medical boards. The boards use this service to verify information for those applying for licensure, including residency, and medical school verification. There is a cost associated with this service; learn more here.

The Uniform Application improves license portability by eliminating the need for physicians, physician assistants, and resident applicants to re-enter information when applying for licenses in multiple states. View a list of all boards that require uniform applications here.

The Self-Query service searches the NPDB to see if the information on an individual or entity matches any report information stored in the NPDB. A self-query is a common requirement in most states’ licensing process and can be quickly pulled by the practitioner. Queries are $3 per order, with an additional fee of $3 for a mailed copy.

Background Checks

Yes, many state medical boards conduct criminal background checks as a condition of granting medical licensure. Fingerprints are often required.

Sometimes. Background check processes and prices vary from state to state.

There are two primary methods:

  1. Live Scan, an inkless, electronic method of capturing fingerprints.
  2. Ink cards, a traditional, hard-print FBI fingerprinting card. These can be sent out by the medical board, or you may request them from your local law enforcement agency.

The method chosen will vary by state medical board. Many out-of-state applicants will submit a traditional, ink-rolled set of fingerprints to the medical board or a third-party processing agency.

No. All background checks are specific to that licensing board.


At Jackson + Coker, we currently only staff locum tenens opportunities for nurse practitioners.

APRNs are nurses who have met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements, and often provide services in community-based settings.

The NLC is a multistate license that allows nurses to work in their home state and other specified compact states with a single license (sometimes called a “compact license”). States that are considered compact states change constantly. View the list here for the latest information.

No. All states require that a nurse must have an RN license before gaining an APRN license. However, some states will allow the license applications to be processed in tandem.

 Yes. If you hold an RN license already and wish to apply in another state, you can apply for licensure by endorsement or licensure by exam.

Not exclusively. To prescribe controlled substances, you must also hold a valid DEA registration certificate.

Need help with licensing? Ask our experts.

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Federal facts for you.

We are a Federal Supply Schedule Contract holder. 

Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contract: 36F79723D0086, Professional and Allied Healthcare Staffing, effective March 15, 2023, through March 14, 2028.

NAICS Codes:
  • 561320: Temporary help services. 
  • 621111: Offices of physicians. 
  • 621112: Offices of physicians, mental health specialists. 
  • 621399: Offices of all other miscellaneous health practitioners. 
  • 621330: Offices of mental health practitioners.


Once you and our client agree to move forward with your assignment, our privileging team will assist you and the client in gathering information required by the healthcare facility to grant clinical privileges.


We contact the facility’s Medical Service Office (MSO) for their application and requirements.


We will assist you by pre-populating the facility’s application and sending to the MSO.


We will assist the MSO by following up on requested items.


MSO will grant privileges based on your training and experience, and you will be able to start your assignment.

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Maggie Youmans

Senior Vice President, Sales

As Senior Vice President, Maggie oversees several key specialty divisions and adjacent teams. With a demonstrated history of leading teams and developing individuals across the organization, she is dedicated to inspiring, challenging and empowering associates to achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Maggie earned degrees in marketing and management focused on consumer economics from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business. She enjoys traveling with her husband to visit different bed and breakfasts. Together, they have been able to see the beauty within their own backyard and across the country.

Connect with Maggie on LinkedIn.

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Anne Anderson

Executive Vice President

"I'm passionate about the locum tenens industry - we make a real difference in the lives of both our heroic healthcare providers and the patients they treat."

Anne has been at the forefront of the evolution of locum tenens for more than 35 years. She’s a respected leader with expertise in corporate operations, risk management, credentialing, and travel services. Before joining Jackson + Coker, she served as Executive Vice President at Medical Doctor Associates, part of Cross Country Healthcare. 

An ardent industry advocate, Anne served several years on the Board of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), including two years as president. 

Anne received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Spring Hill College. She is also a PADI open water diver and enjoys scuba diving. 

Connect with Anne on LinkedIn.