Atrius Health Supports Legislation Encouraging Massachusetts to Join the Nurse Licensure Compact

| Posted On Nov 12, 2015 | By:

Atrius Health has joined with a number of other healthcare organizations across the state to advocate for legislation that would allow Massachusetts to join the national Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

The Nurse Licensure Compact allows nurses to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in both their home state and other compact states. Atrius Health supports substitute language being proposed to House Bill 2002, “An Act Adopting the Nurse Licensure Compact in Massachusetts”,  that would allow Massachusetts to join the growing list of states, including neighboring Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, that have already adopted the national NLC.

The NLC has recently undergone revisions that have resulted in new model legislation that supersedes the currently enacted NLC legislation adopted by 25 states. The National Council of State Board of Nursing adopted this new version of the NLC on May 4, 2015. States wishing to participate in the compact must adopt the new version. The coalition is recommending that the Massachusetts Public Health Committee update the language of House Bill 2002 to reflect the new national standards.

Atrius Health supports adoption of the NLC model in Massachusetts and believes it will decrease barriers to nursing care and help ensure the availability of licensed nurses in the Commonwealth, particularly in areas of practice where there are shortages or in the case of a disaster.

Participation in the NCL will further clarify the authority to practice for nurses currently engaged in tele-nursing or other contemporary models of practice. Joining the NLC would eliminate existing regulatory barriers and help continue the move toward delivering cost- effective care where the patient needs it.

The NLC will provide for greater nurse mobility and will enhance access to essential data on the nursing workforce, particularly in those cases where nurses may be facing sanctions by respective boards of nursing in other states.  Membership in the NLC enables states to share information about nurses in a timely manner. Significant investigative information and final adverse actions must be reported within 10 business days to Nursys, the coordinated licensure information system. This includes action on a home state license and action on a privilege to practice. Additionally, NLC states provide daily updates of licensure information to Nursys.

Atrius Health agrees that membership in the NLC will allow highly qualified nurse candidates to begin seeing patients sooner and therefore improve the quality of our workforce without delays that may be caused in seeking Massachusetts licensure.

The hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Health is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17 and we strongly support quick passage of House Bill 2002.

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