Governor Signs Marklein, Tranel and Novak’s
Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact Legislation
Law insures nurses retain licensing portability and flexibility
MADISON – Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and Rep. Todd Novak (Dodgeville) joined Governor Scott Walker on Monday, December 11, 2017 as he signed Senate Bill (SB) 417 to become Act 135. This law makes Wisconsin a member of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) by updating 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. This legislation was widely supported by nurses, hospitals and other healthcare providers throughout Wisconsin. It also received unanimous bi-partisan support in the state legislature.
“This bill is a common sense, modernization of our statutes to provide security, stability and portability for licensed nurses in Wisconsin,” Marklein said. “It is important to our nurses who work in other states and for the institutions providing care for our citizens.”
“There are many nurses in the 49th Assembly District who commute to Iowa for work. Likewise, there are healthcare providers who fill vacancies with qualified nurses from other states,” Tranel said. “This compact allows our healthcare community to meet the needs of Wisconsin’s citizens without burdening nurses with regulatory requirements.”
“I was proud to work with my colleagues to advance this legislation,” Novak said. “This was an important way for us to serve those people who take care of us when we need them most.”
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.
“Governor Walker, Senator Marklein, Representative VanderMeer and Representative Tranel have been dedicated to sustaining and improving high quality health care in Wisconsin – especially for those living in rural communities,” said Eric Borgerding, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA). “WHA has been working closely with these lawmakers this legislative session to provide additional funding to train physicians, advanced practice clinicians and allied health professionals in rural communities as part of the biennial state budget and the Rural Wisconsin Initiative. By signing Senate Bill 417, Governor Walker is taking additional steps to ensure that licensure doesn’t become an unnecessary hurdle for qualified nurses and the employers that depend on a nursing workforce in Wisconsin.”
The enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact is supported by Wisconsin’s Board of Nursing and numerous Wisconsin health care organizations including the WHA, the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives and the Wisconsin Nurses Association. The bill was also developed in consultation with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).
Act 135 is effective immediately. All Wisconsin nurses with compact licenses will be automatically transitioned to the new eNLC compact license in the new year.