my mom is in the hospital and can not take care of things outside, and she needs to sign over power-of-attorney to me. but some of the things she needs me to take care of is in 2 different states. do i have to get one for both states and can they both be active at the same time
Most states will honor another State's POA with certain exceptions. For example, while North Carolina does not require that the principal's signature be witnessed by two independent individuals (i.e., not family or relatives), but only notarized. You have not mentioned the other two states. I would suggest you add the witnesses as well as the Notary so as to be valid in the other States. But just to make sure, I would contact an attorney in each State and ask them what method works there.
A person can have more than one active Power of Attorney at the same time, just ensure that they do not include language revoking earlier Powers of Attorney, which is often standard.
The law governing Powers of Attorney varies from state to state. Banks and other businesses in state B *might* honor a Power of Attorney from state A, but I suggest that you consult with an attorney licensed in state B to ensure that it will work. You might find an attorney licensed in both states that could draft one document that would be valid in both states.
Your mother can only sign such a document while she has capacity, so do this right the first time. If you cut corners now and end up needing for your mother to sign another POA down the road, her illness might have progressed to the point that she won't be able to.
Good luck to you!