Marklein and Tranel Advance Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact Legislation
Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) introduced legislation today that will make Wisconsin a member of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Senate Bill (SB) 417 and Assembly Bill (AB) 500 update Wisconsin’s current nurse licensure compact statute to maintain Wisconsin’s status as a compact state.
The eNLC provides an opportunity for nurses in Wisconsin to receive a multi-state license and allows nurses from other states to quickly fill vacancies in Wisconsin without receiving a duplicative single-state license. Nearly all Wisconsin nurses currently hold a compact license and will continue to have the benefit of an interstate license under this bill.
“I have heard from dozens of nurses from the 17th Senate District, as well as hospital administrators and doctors who have asked me to sponsor this legislation,” Marklein said. “It is important to our nurses who work in other states and for the institutions providing care for our citizens.”
“The 49th Assembly District is home to many nurses who cross into Iowa for work,” Tranel said. “We need to update our membership in the new compact so that they can continue to work without the burden of having to seek another, duplicative license. This is a common sense bill.”
The eNLC was developed to add more value and state representation to the Compact organization. It also takes advantage of new technology and national databases to insure that Compact-licensed nurses meet consistent standards and background check benchmarks. As is the case today, the eNLC will not interfere with Wisconsin’s ability to hold any nurse practicing in Wisconsin accountable for meeting all Wisconsin nurse practice laws.
“At Southwest Health, being part of the nursing compact has meant that nurses in Iowa who want to work in Wisconsin can serve our patients immediately – rather than wait several weeks to process an additional nursing license. High quality health care, like Wisconsin’s, draws high performing workers, and this is true at Southwest Health where almost 1 in 5 nurses are from Iowa,” according to Dan Rohrbach, CEO, Southwest Health, Platteville. “Our hospital appreciates the leadership of Sen. Marklein, Rep. VanderMeer and Rep. Tranel in moving this legislation forward and ensuring that our nurses and patients can continue to enjoy the benefits of this important interstate agreement.”
“Gundersen Boscobel prides itself on fostering an environment of education and learning. Our tuition investment program is intended to grow nursing leaders and advance practice clinicians for our future and the future of rural health care, but those future nurse leaders and nurse practitioners must have a place to obtain a degree,” according to David Hartberg, CEO, Gundersen Boscobel Area Health and Clinics. “Online education makes it possible for nurses in our community to access highly experienced nurse educators from across the country while continuing to provide critical services for patients in rural Wisconsin. Without the nurse licensure compact, education institutions would face additional licensure barriers as they would have to seek separate certifications in every state where they offer education.”
“With a 70,000-square-foot expansion and renovation underway, we are focused on serving the current and meeting the future demands of an aging population in our community,” according to Nicole Clapp, president/CEO, Grant Regional Health Center. “It is important to maintain a nurse licensure compact agreement with Iowa and 25 other states to ensure we do not encounter unnecessary licensure barriers as we build our Wisconsin nursing workforce to meet the patient care needs our community faces into the future.”
The enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact is supported by Wisconsin’s Board of Nursing and numerous Wisconsin health care organizations including the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives and the Wisconsin Nurses Association. SB 417 was also developed in consultation with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).
SB 417 and AB 500 were introduced on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Rep. Tranel and Sen. Marklein are working to move these bills swiftly through the committee process to bring them to the floor this fall.