Kansas passes compact nursing license legislation
Kansas lawmakers passed HB 2496 at the end of March, which will allow the state to join the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact and begin issuing multi-state nursing licenses next year.
The bill passed with almost unanimous support in the Kansas House and Senate and was signed into law Tuesday afternoon by Gov. Jeff Coyler.
— Governor Jeff Colyer (@GovJeffColyer) April 10, 2018
HB 2496 will go into effect on July 1, 2019. Kansas will be the first new state to pass legislation and enter the eNLC since it was implemented in mid-January of this year. This will bring the total number of compact states to 30.
The Kansas State Board of Nursing is already developing an implementation timeline that will include all the organizational and IT changes for a smooth transition process, KSBN executive director Carol Moreland said.
“The board’s mission is to protect the public by providing competent nurses, and we have kept this at the forefront as they have moved toward joining the compact,” Moreland said. “The board is committed to working with the Legislature to ensure a smooth implementation. There will be communication to nurses, employers and the public to help them understand the impact of joining the compact.”
Part of the reason Kansas sought to join the compact is by requests from nurses who work in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Moreland said. The area is split into two cities across state borders between Kansas and Missouri. Currently, nurses who want to work on the Missouri side have to get a single state license.
“Nursing is a very mobile profession,” Moreland said. “Our four border states are part of the compact. The board realizes that joining the compact may help employers that presently are having difficulty recruiting nurses.”
It’s uncertain at this time how many nurses are expected to apply for multi-state licenses, Moreland said, but the board has received many requests to join the compact for the last few years. Kansas currently has more than 57,000 active registered nurses and more than 10,000 licensed practical nurses.
Out of the remaining 20 states not in the eNLC, there are seven in the process of passing legislation to join. Those states are:
Want to learn more about which states are in the compact? Check out our interactive Compact License map.
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