TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan and Senate Health Committee Chair Joseph F. Vitale that would enter New Jersey into the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and enable New Jersey-licensed nurses to practice in other member states advanced in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.

     Under the bill, S3167
a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN / LVN) who resides and is licensed in New Jersey, and whose license is in good standing, would be allowed to practice, both physically and via technology, in other states that are members of the NLC without additional applications or fees. The nurse must still comply with the state practice laws of the state in which the patient is located at the time care is rendered. Currently, a nurse is required to be licensed in, and by, each state in which he or she chooses to practice.

     “The Compact was created to address issues around telemedicine which is increasing as medicine and technology progress,” said Senator Whelan (D-Atlantic). “It also allows nurses greater flexibility and mobility when expanding their careers and experiences in their practice.”

     Under the NLC, a nurse who applies for licensure is required to meet the qualifications for licensure and license renewal of the nurse’s state of residence. While a nurse may be licensed in any state or states that are not parties to the compact, a nurse may only be licensed in one state that is a party to the compact.

     “Creating a streamlined process that is built around cooperation and collaboration among states will allow us to provide the public with greater access to safe nursing care while ensuring that the standards and enforcement of licensure laws are equivalent across state borders,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex). “This creates a better exchange of information between states in the area of nurse regulation and investigation to ensure a safer healthcare consumer and it also creates more options for patients and opportunities for nurses.”