The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) enables nurses to practice in other states besides the one in which they reside. There are currently 24 states included in the NLC, which includes Tennessee and neighboring Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Eligibility for a multistate license requires that a nurse legally reside in a compact state (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, 2014). There are no additional applications required to apply for a compact license. Only one multistate license can be active at a time. Therefore when issued a compact license, any previously active compact licenses are made inactive. Also it is important to note that nurses are required to practice according to the nurse practice act of the state for which they are actually practicing in rather than their primary state of residence. Therefore a nurse could be subject to disciplinary action in the states of practice. The nurse’s home state license is recognized in all compact states unless the nurse is under disciplinary action or restriction. With the compact licensure in place, the question is then raised to whether there is an increased risk for disciplinary actions in compact states opposed to non-compact states.
The article Troubled Nurses Skip from State to State Under Compact exposed nurses under disciplinary actions in one compact state were being able to continue practicing in another compact state. The article discusses the case of one particular nurse, Craig Peske, who was fired from a Wisconsin hospital in 2007. Peske was suspected of stealing Dilaudid, “when in a three-month period he signed out 245 syringes full of the drug – nine times the average of his fellow nurses” (Webe...
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...nd disciplinary information of all licensed RNs and LPN/VNs” (Weber & Ornstein, 2010). Therefore, if all states used this database the disciplinary issues would be reduced.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2014). Nurse licensure compact. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from National council of state boards of nursing: https://www.ncsbn.org/nlc.htm
Ornstein, C., & Weber, T. (2009, July 10). When caregivers harm: Problem nurses stay on the job as patients suffer. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from ProPublica: http://www.propublica.org/article/california-eyes-discipline-for-2000-nurses-sanctioned-by-other-states
Weber, T., & Ornstein, C. (2010, July 14). Troubled nurses skip from state to state under compact. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from ProPublica: http://www.propublica.org/article/troubled-nurses-skip-from-state-to-state-under-compact
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