Professional licenses

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    In the event of a less than total disaster, something like Katrina, if you are a licensed professional have you considered maintaining a license in an area where you may be relocated/relocating to? I am a nurse and during Katrina we had a lot of nurses displaced from the New Orleans area working in other facilities in Louisiana…we were very happy to have the extra help and they were very happy to get a paycheck. But what if you end up out of state? Many nurses have it nice and live in nursing compact states and can practice in any compact state, but Louisiana is a bit backwards and has rejected the compacture. As a travel nurse and Louisiana resident I had to get a license in each state that I wanted to practice, and it took months in some cases for me to get the licenses. And that was during good times, I cannot help but imagine what nurses who ended up out of state after Katrina faced: the Louisiana state board of nursing’s offices were destroyed in Katrina. I still maintain three licenses, and to renew the ones that I let lapse should be easier then getting them the first time around. I intend to get another license this year in the state (North Carolina) where we will probably end up at if we get displaced by a storm or other such badness.

    I am not sure how it is with other professionals (auto mechanics, plumbers, hair dressers, etc), but it might be worth your while to look into maintaining a license in another state (or more). It is a bit of an expense, but it could pay off in the long run. In the short run, you could use the fees as a tax write off, and maybe even swing doing some work for a few days elsewhere and get to write off a family vacation as a work expense too.

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