Telemedicine advocates lobby for nurse licensing compacts: 6 things to know

Hospitals and some nursing groups are lobbying state legislators nationwide to no longer require that nurses be licensed in each state they work in, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Here are six things to know about the issue.

1. The lobbying comes amid a push to get states to join nursing licensing compacts, which allow nurses to practice in other compact states with a single multistate license.

2. Twenty-five states have joined the multistate agreement known as the Nurse Licensure Compact since it began in 1999.

3. Six additional states—Florida, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming — have enacted legislation to join a newer version of the compact, and seven states have bills pending, according to The Wall Street Journal.

4. The newer version of the compact, unlike the earlier version, requires member states to do fingerprint-based state and federal criminal background checks on nurses they license, according to the report. The state board that issues a nurse's license is responsible for taking licensing sanctions against that nurse if an alleged infraction takes place in another member state, The Wall Street Journal reports.

5. Hospital officials who support the compact argue that it allows them to offer nurses to practice by phone or Internet without requiring multiple licenses, according to The Wall Street Journal.

7. But, unions contend such compacts threaten patient safety since states have different licensing standards, The Wall Street Journal notes.


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