A bill in the state Legislature would enable New Jersey to recognize out-of-state nurses’ licenses, a move which business advocates say would help satisfy a rising need for nursing staff.
Under Assembly Bill 1597, New Jersey would enter the Nurse Licensure Compact, consisting of 31 states, where a nurse need only to acquire a license in one of those states to work in any other of the member states.
The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee unanimously approved A1597 at its Jan. 17 meeting.
“Recognizing the out-of-state licenses of professional nurses is an effective way for New Jersey to relieve a severe shortage of certified professionals,” reads a Thursday statement from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.
The nurse would only have to meet the licensure requirements in their state of residence.
The current member states include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
“Like many states, New Jersey needs more nurses,” NJBIA Vice President Tony Bawidamann said in a Thursday statement. “Mandating staffing levels doesn’t do any good if we don’t have the professionals to staff the facilities in the first place.”
“This bill makes it easier for professional nurses to work in New Jersey, which will make it easier for us to start reducing our nursing shortage,” Bawidamann added.