Nurse Licensure Compact: 2019 Recap and 2020 Predictions
2019 has been an exciting year for the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which now includes 34 states. The mission of the NLC is to advance public protection and access to care through mutual recognition of one state-based nursing license that is enforced locally and recognized nationally. The NLC allows Registered Nurses to obtain an active multi-state compact license to work in any of the states that are a part of the compact. This is crucial in travel nursing and helps ease the onboarding and compliance processes when taking new assignments in these states. Here’s a recap of NLC news from the year and what’s to come in 2020.
Kansas & Louisiana Fully Implemented in July 2019
After a lot of anticipation, Kansas and Louisiana finally completed implementation to operate in the NCL on July 1, 2019, more than a year after both state legislations were passed.
“Congratulations to Commissioners Carol Moreland and the Kansas Board of Nursing, Karen Lyon and the Louisiana State Board of Nursing for Registered Professional Nurses, and Lynn Ansardi and the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners for their hard work,” the NLC stated in their 2018-2019 Biennial Report.
Alabama NLC Implementation Set for January 1, 2020
Kicking off 2020, Alabama will officially launch their state compact nursing licenses on January 1, 2020. RNs with an Alabama RN license will be able to apply for compact license and those who already have an active compact license will be able to work in the state.
New Jersey & Indiana Pass Legislation, Implementation TBD
In 2019, New Jersey and Indiana successfully passed legislation to join the NLC and are awaiting implementation dates. Hopefully these two new states will undergo complete enactment in 2020, but no deadlines have been announced yet. Opening up compact licenses in these locations will continue to help travel nurses bring more care to the states quicker.
Legislation Remains Pending at 3 States
Legislations to enact the compact nurse licensure in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts are at a standstill. Reasoning for the halts are not reported, but the NLC remains hopeful stating, “Although the bill did not pass in every state, it is likely that, in the states where the NLC did not pass, legislation will be reintroduced in January of 2020 when legislative session starts again. We also anticipate the possibility of Michigan or Vermont passing legislation either this year or next.”
Vermont to Consider Joining the Nursing Licensure Compact in 2020
On Dec. 3, 2019, Vermont Public Radio announced that the Secretary of States’ Office of Professional Regulations will ask lawmakers to pass legislation for Vermont to join the Nurse Licensure Compact in 2020. The organization recently published a statewide survey from Registered Nurses in Vermont where 59 percent said they supported joining the compact. But not everyone is in favor of joining. Deb Snell, RN and president of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, is concerned making it easier for Vermont nurses to work out of the state could make the state’s nursing shortage grow further.
HCT Today will continue to provide updates on the Nursing Licensure Compact as more information is available.
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