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Senate approval of a bill recognizing the out-of-state licenses of professional nurses will help relieve a shortage of certified professionals in New Jersey, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) said Thursday.

NJBIA supports the bill, which is scheduled for a vote in the full Senate this afternoon.  S-1699/S-954 (Singleton, D-7) would have New Jersey enter a multistate compact for the licensure of registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses.

“I want to first thank Senator Singleton for recognizing the nursing shortage in New Jersey and for introducing legislation that would simplify the process for out-of-state nurses to work in New Jersey,” said NJBIA Vice President Tony Bawidamann. “As a result of his great work, nurses will only need to obtain a license from the state they reside in to be permitted to work in New Jersey, instead of having to go through the whole licensing process again.”

New Jersey previously enacted a law to enter the multistate compact, but that temporary law expired on Jan. 1, 2007. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has since adopted a revised version of the compact, known as the enhanced multistate Nurses Licensure Compact (eNLC), which was implemented on Jan. 19, 2018, with 29 member states as of that date.

“As part of the compact, nurses would still be required to meet the qualifications for licensure, and the compact would establish a database on the disciplinary history of all licensees in the participating states,” Bawidamann said. 

The eNLC would maintain the database as part of a coordinated licensure information system. The party states would be required to report to the coordinated system all adverse actions against nurses, including actions against multistate licensure privileges, any current significant investigative information yet to result in an adverse action, and denials of applications and the reasons for the denials.