eNLC Enacted: What Happens Now?
*Updated* 30th state signs enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact into law
*Kansas has become the 30th member of the eNLC with the signing of the bill by Gov. Jeff Colyer, on April 10, 2018. “Kansas is pleased to be the 30th state to pass legislation to join the eNLC. The Kansas Board of Nursing is committed to working toward a smooth implementation for nurses, employers and citizens of Kansas,” comments Carol Moreland, MSN, RN, executive administrator, Kansas State Board of Nursing.
The Path of the eNLC as law
The signing of legislation by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on July 20, 2017, triggered the landmark enactment of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), ushering in a new era of nurse licensure in the United States.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators and the incoming group of eNLC Interstate Commission members have been working hard to advance the new compact, and are pleased with the eNLC legislative progress made in the last 18 months.
NCSBN President Katherine Thomas, MN, RN, FAAN, executive director, Texas Board of Nursing, noted, “We have made great strides in unlocking access to nursing care across the nation and are thrilled to begin this process.”
“Even as we work on implementing this first phase,” she continued, “our efforts continue to aid other states in passing eNLC legislation so our ultimate goal of having all 50 states in the compact is realized!”
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How will the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact work?
Allowing nurses to have mobility across state borders, the eNLC increases access to care while maintaining public protection.
The eNLC, which is an updated version of the original NLC, allows for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in person or via telehealth in both their home state and other eNLC states.
Representatives of the 26 states* that make up this new compact will form the eNLC Interstate Commission. This new Interstate Commission will announce its first meeting in the coming weeks. The Commission’s first priority will be to adopt operational rules and set implementation dates. Once set, dates of implementation will be shared with licensed nurses and the public.
NCSBN CEO David Benton, RGN, PhD, FFNF, FRCN, FAAN, commented, “Boards of nursing were the first health care profession regulatory bodies to develop a model for interstate licensure, and we are looking forward to the implementation of this new phase of nursing regulation. Patient safety was of paramount importance in the development of eNLC leading to the addition of new features found in the provisions of the model legislation.”
Licensing standards are aligned across eNLC states so all applicants for a multistate license are required to meet the same standards, which include federal and state fingerprint-based criminal background checks.
*The eNLC compact states include (as of April, 2018):
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What about current compact state licenses?
The original NLC will remain in effect with Colorado, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Wisconsin as members until each enacts eNLC legislation.
In NLC states that have also enacted the eNLC, a nurse that holds a multistate license on the effective date of the eNLC will be grandfathered. However, if the grandfathered nurse wants to practice in a state that did not enact the eNLC, the nurse must apply for single-state licenses in each of those states.
Implementation of eNLC licenses still to come
In 2018, eNLC states will implement and prepare to issue multistate licenses. Additional information about the eNLC can be found at www.nursecompact.com.
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