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Exterior shot of NJ State House with gold dome.The Assembly Appropriations Committee today released legislation that would allow New Jersey to recognize the out-of-state licenses of professional nurses, a move the New Jersey Business & Industry Association said will help relieve a shortage of certified professionals in New Jersey.

NJBIA supports the bill, S-954 (Singleton, D-7), which would have New Jersey enter a multistate compact for the licensure of registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses.

“The bill will make it easier for out-of-state nurses to work in New Jersey, but would not diminish the quality of care we have come to expect,” NJBIA Vice President Tony Bawidamann said. “They would still have to meet the qualifications for licensure, and the compact would establish a database on the disciplinary history of all licensees in the participating states.”

The enhanced multistate Nurses Licensure Compact (eNLC ) would maintain the database as part of a coordinated licensure information system. The participating 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.

“I want to thank the committee for recognizing the nursing shortage in New Jersey and for approving legislation that would simplify the process for out-of-state nurses to work here,” said Bawidamann. “As a result of this 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 eNLC, which was implemented on Jan. 19, 2018, with 29 member states as of that date.