Multi-State License for Nurses

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Massachusetts nurses have been regulated by the state since the beginning of the 20th century. Nursing has changed. With the use of technology in healthcare and the growth of multi-state healthcare corporations, the need for nurses to practice in multiple states has increased. In response to this change in nursing, multiple states have adopted the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) allows for nurses to practice across state lines in states that have adopted the NLC. Massachusetts should pass the NLC so that MA nurses could have more job opportunities, ability to utilize more nurses during a disaster, and creating an easier and safer way to process disciplinary actions concerning nurses who practice in multiple states. Nurses in Massachusetts would greatly benefit if the NLC were to be passed in their state.

Regulation of nursing has been controlled by the state. Every state has their own Nurse Standard of Practice Act that regulates nurse practice and licensing. When nurses want to practice in another state, the nurse would have to contact that specific state board of nursing reapply for a license and pay another fee. The single state license system infers that nurses are somewhat incompetent to practice across state lines (Poe, 2008). The single license system has placed barriers in front of nurses. It makes it harder for nurses to practice in other states and more difficult for multi-state hospitals to utilize their nursing staff. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) was conceived by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (Hellquist and Spector, 2004). The NLC “allows a nurse to have on license (in the nurses’ sates of residency) and to practice in other states as long as that nurse ackno...

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Hellquist, K. & Spector, N.(2004). A primer: National council of state boards of nursing licensure compact. Journal of Healthcare Administration Healthcare law, ethics and regulation, 6 (4), 86-89. Retrieved from CINAHL database

Poe,L. (2008). Nursing regulation, the nurse licensure compact, and nurse administrations: working together for patient safety. Nurse Administration Quarterly, 32(4), 267-272. Retrieved from CINAHL database.

York, C. (2009). Message from the president. Nurse Licensure Compact Bill passed in Missouri!. Missouri State Board of Nursing Newsletter, 11(3), 1. Retrieved from CINAHL database.
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