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Time for a National Nursing License?

Time for a National Nursing License?

Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN | Scrubs Magazine

Missouri recently joined the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), an interstate coalition that makes it easier for nurses to practice in multiple states. The twenty-four states involved in the compact operate under a mutual recognition model; a nurse licensed in one NLC state is able to practice in another NLC state without obtaining another license. Previously, nurses needed to be licensed in every state in which they practiced.

The NLC was established in 2000 and currently includes Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

While most nurses applaud the NLC, some wonder if the time has come to establish a national nursing license, one that would be valid in all 50 states. Proponents of the idea cite ease of practice and uniform expectations. Detractors argue that a national nursing license would require a national nurse practice act, denying states the opportunity to establish standards of practice.

What do you think? Has the time come for a national nursing license? Or is the interstate compact the way to go?

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    over 3 years ago


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    over 4 years ago


    Its time that nursing leaders ask themselves if they are part of the solution or causing the problem. It is time that. For for a revamp of the education and clinical skills training to correlate with thr nurse practice act. Whomever is leading the campaign to eliminate LPN"s and AND RN'S needs to come out of their secure little office office and away from the board. Table and actually spend some time BEING A NURSE. No one needs a doctorate, masters or a bachelors degree to care for any population. What nursing needs is a little common sense. You can have a doctorate degree as a nurse however you cannot save lives if these highly educated nurses do not have the clinical experience to recognize a patient in distress. Being an LPN for 36 yrs. I have mentored , graduating with a BSN' and never inserted a catheter' changed a dressing, or assessed a person with symtoms of an MI. NURSING talent requires experience received after working first hand with other experienced nurses. Communication by speaking english in the USA is probably the #1 reason healthcare has failed. The #2 reason is removing experienced LPN'S out of the acute medical setting. Wake up. Its time to weed out bad nurses not because of yrs spent in a classroom but the lack of experience and common sense. There needs 2 be 1 type of nurse, a rewward for # of yrs of service. That is how we can change the world!

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    over 4 years ago


    IMHO, one of the things keeping nursing down is the whole problem of lack of uniformity. There are LPNs, RNs, BSNs, diploma nurses, ADNs - nobody can keep track. And we all practice with different levels of training and experience. How do we expect the world to take us seriously? How do we expect to be treated as professionals, when even we can't decide what we are? A national nursing license would make nurse practice acts uniform, therefore making it more likely that we would become a more uniform group. It would help if we all had to be bachelor's trained to be called a "nurse". All the rest (including me, BTW) would no longer be called nurses, we'd be adjuncts. (Don't be upset with me, this is just my opinion!)

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    over 4 years ago


    A nurse licensed in one NLC state is able to practice in another NLC state (no longer than 6 months otherwise she or he can't claimed the state issued license as Home state, because some states requires to obtain state ID or DL within 2, 4 or 6 months if you live and practice in such state) without obtaining another license.

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