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Pennsylvania to Join the NLC, Some Out-of-State Nurses Starting As Soon As Sept. 5

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Starting September 5th, Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses from 40 different states, who possess multi-state licenses under the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), will gain the privilege to deliver both in-person and telehealth services to individuals seeking medical attention at healthcare facilities in Pennsylvania.

This move, which grants eligible RNs and LPNs the ability to practice within the state, serves to widen the pool of potential candidates for hospitals and healthcare establishments. It also serves to lighten the workload on overstretched nursing teams, fostering a safer environment for both patients and healthcare personnel. This information was conveyed through an official statement released by the state.

Enacted as Act 68 of 2021, Pennsylvania was granted the authority to become a participant in the aforementioned compact. This step, which allows out-of-state nurses to offer their services within Pennsylvania, represents a vital initial stride in fully realizing the commitments of this agreement, as highlighted by Commonwealth Secretary Al Schmidt. Looking ahead, nurses licensed in Pennsylvania will subsequently gain the privilege to practice in other states belonging to the compact. However, prior to this development, the state needs to fulfill additional criteria, including the ability to affirm to other compact member states that Pennsylvania’s State Board of Nursing has successfully conducted FBI criminal background checks on local applicants. This process necessitates authorization from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Healthcare facilities that have obtained licenses from the Pennsylvania Department of Health have the option to consult the facility-specific guidance provided by the state's Department of Health. This guidance offers comprehensive details and supplementary prerequisites that need to be addressed before engaging Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who hold licenses through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

In light of the nursing shortage, expediting the entry of more nurses into the workforce stands as a paramount objective for the Shapiro Administration. In the initial month of assuming office, Governor Josh Shapiro took the initiative to endorse an executive directive that meticulously documented the 2,400 permits, certificates, and licenses issued by the Commonwealth. This measure also established defined timelines for the processing of each of these credentials. Acknowledging the urgency of ensuring all capable nurses are swiftly deployed, Governor Shapiro recognizes that administrative delays shouldn't hinder trained nurses from their roles. Within the framework of the Shapiro Administration, the people of Pennsylvania can be assured of a more agile and effective state government. The announcement made today further underscores this commitment.

"The Shapiro Administration is committed to ensuring that Pennsylvanians can receive top-notch care from licensed, qualified health care professionals," Schmidt said. "By implementing this first phase of Pennsylvania's engagement in the NLC, we are expanding opportunities for patients and providing hospitals and health systems with access to an approved, vetted group of licensed RNs and LPNs."

Employers seeking to validate the validity of a nurse's multi-state license can access, the central repository for licensing information maintained by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. On the website, employers can navigate to the "Quick Confirm" section, which facilitates swift verification of a nurse's licensure status.


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