Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have been among the health care heroes who have tirelessly cared for patients and communities in need. In an effort to meet increased demands and reinforce health care systems, Pennsylvania is one of the states that has allowed out-of-state health care practitioners, including nurses, to apply for temporary practice permits and licenses. After the temporary waivers and flexibilities expire under the emergency declaration, it is important that Pennsylvania does not take steps back.
Whether we are in the middle of a global pandemic or back to everyday life, nurses should have the ability to support patients and provide quality care across state lines.
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What The Compact Is
An updated licensure solution for the 21st century, the Nurse Licensure Compact, allows nurses to have one multistate license with the ability to practice in all compact states – via telemedicine or in person. The Compact – now enacted in 34 states – offers a flexible and adaptable solution to streamlining care while maintaining the public’s protection at the state level. Nurses who practice in a compact state must meet 11 uniform licensure requirements, including state and federal criminal background checks.
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Why It’s Important
By 2030, Pennsylvania is expected to face a registered nurse shortage of 4,000, and as the state’s aging population continues to grow, more nurses will be needed to provide care. The Compact could alleviate pressure by promoting mobility.
Additionally, a multistate license would:
- Allow nurses to quickly cross state borders and provide vital services in the event of a disaster or emergency, and help save more lives.
- Allow nurses to practice in person and provide telehealth services to patients in other states without having to obtain additional licenses.
- Help nurses save money by not needing to obtain multiples licenses to practice in other states.
- Help organizations that employ nurses and share the expenditure of multiple licenses save money.
Where UPMC Stands
UPMC strongly supports legislative efforts that would make Pennsylvania a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. We believe now is the time for elected officials to show their support for nurses by making Pennsylvania a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact.
- Senate Bill 115– Sponsored by Sen. Lisa Boscola
- UPMC supports Senate Bill 115 as introduced