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Legislation to relieve the shortage of certified nurses aides (CNAs) by allowing candidates to use their out-of-state work experience to qualify in New Jersey was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 31.

A-2442 (Benson, D-14/Rooney, R-40) codifies state Health Department regulations providing reciprocity for CNAs while also considering work experience.

NJBIA supported the bill because New Jersey has a severe shortage of CNAs, which are essential to nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. The New Jersey Hospital Association noted a shortage of workers saying there are about 1,800 available part-time and full-time positions available.

 “Like many states, New Jersey needs more CNAs,” said Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas.  “The fact is, we need to find more professionals to staff these facilities. This bill does that by making it easier for certified nurse professionals to get licensed to work in New Jersey, which will make it easier for us to start reducing our nursing shortage.” 

The Association is supporting a related bill that would enter New Jersey into a multistate compact for the licensure of registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses. That bill is awaiting action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.