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PA Bill to Join Nurse Licensure Compact Moves to House for Consideration

May 12, 2021

The Pennsylvania Senate today approved legislation that will allow Pennsylvania to join 34 other states in the Nurse Licensure Compact, a multistate agreement that allows licensed nurses to practice across state lines.

Senate Bill 115, sponsored by Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton), was approved 32-16. It now goes to the state House for consideration. The proposal addresses the ways the nation's health care delivery system is changing—requiring greater cooperation among states for nurse licensure and regulation—and creating the needed flexibility to support the health care workforce.

“The current system of duplicative licensure for nurses practicing in multiple states is cumbersome and redundant for both nurses and states,” the legislation says. “Uniformity of nurse licensure requirements throughout the states promotes public safety and public health benefits.”

The proposal would:

  • Provide opportunities for interstate practice by nurses who meet uniform licensure requirements
  • Facilitate the exchange of information between party states for nurse regulation, investigation, and adverse actions
  • Promote compliance with the laws governing the practice of nursing in each jurisdiction
  • Invest all party states with the authority to hold a nurse accountable for meeting all state practice laws in the state in which the patient is located at the time care is  rendered through the mutual recognition of party state licenses
  • Decrease redundancies in the consideration and issuance of nurse licenses

The legislation directly reflects recommendations from HAP’s Health Care Talent Task Force. During 2020, the task force issued a report expressing concerns about future workforce shortages and highlighting opportunities to reduce the administrative burdens on the caregivers within Pennsylvania’s health care delivery system.

HAP applauds Senate lawmakers for passing this important legislation and will continue to provide updates as the proposal moves to the House for consideration. Pennsylvania’s participation in the Nurse Licensure Compact marks another critical step to bolster the health care workforce and ensure outstanding care throughout the commonwealth.

For more information, contact Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative advocacy.