2020 brought many changes in life and in the healthcare industry. Despite its challenges, there have been some really positive updates. For example: adopting technology to make care safer and easier using a more robust approach to telehealth is going well. Another example is new treatments with outside the box thinking when it comes to care in any setting. However, a major positive for nurses and patients alike are the new additions to the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).
In the past, we have always made it a point to share updates to the eNLC. The eNLC allows for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/LVNs) to have one multi-state license, with the ability to practice in person or via telehealth in both their home state and other eNLC states. As it continues to grow, the overall benefits for travel nurses grow too.
With the eNLC now implemented in well over half the country, travel nurses can save money by holding one multi-state license. In addition, nurses with their licenses can provide patient care in person to other member states. Utilizing telehealth, they can deliver virtual medical, health, and education services to patients as well.
New Compact States
As of January 1, 2020, Alabama joined 31 other states in implementing the eNLC. It opens up the door for nurses that are interested in assignments in Alabama and relieves the pressure from some of the existing workforce.
The Indiana State Board of Nursing announced its full implementation of the eNLC, effective July 1, 2020. It was a year later than their initial intent, but Indiana nurses are now able to apply for their multi-state licenses and out of state nurses who hold a Compact license are able to practice within the state.
Currently, New Jersey has enacted eNLC legislation but it is only partially implemented in response to COVID-19. This means nurses residing in other Compact states who hold a multi-state license may practice in New Jersey. However, New Jersey residents will not be able to apply for a multi-state license until the eNLC is fully implemented in 2021. The exact date is unknown at the moment.
Map Updated August 2020
Check the NCSBN for a current map of all the eNLC states and their status.
Emergency Action by State
The eNLC enables opportunities during COVID-19 as well. Travel nurses are used to picking up and going where they are needed. Having a multi-state license opens a vast network of locations to work and expands access to quality care in times of crisis. The updates to the eNLC make the journey easier and faster.
A multi-state license can only be acquired if you declare residency in an eNLC state, are actively registered as a nurse, and can meet the requirements. However, during the pandemic, many states are implementing an emergency licensing waiver. In addition, several nursing regulatory bodies (NRBs) have developed exceptions for inactive and retired licenses.
States Not in the eNLC
There are only six states that are pending legislation to join the eNLC. Of these states, all six are either providing temporary permits or expediting the processing of reciprocal license applications for nurses that are licensed in another jurisdiction.
A number of the 10 states that currently have no legislation and are not members of the Compact, are currently facilitating the process of out-of-state healthcare professionals providing aid. They are requesting healthcare professionals who hold an active, relevant license, certificate, or other permit in good standing issued by a state of the United States or the District of Columbia to assist during this public health emergency.
What the Compact Means for Emergency Response
Every state is dealing with the pandemic to the best of their ability. For more information about each state’s response, check out the NCSBN’s breakdown. The eNLC can be an essential resource for member states during the pandemic. As a member state, any registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) with a multi-state license can help. This means, not only can they provide much needed in-person assistance, they can also provide care via telehealth as well.
The eNLC provides exceptional benefits for patients, states and nurses. The recent expansions to include Alabama, Indiana, and New Jersey will only improve the nursing care those states receive. Now, holders of multi-state licenses have access to 33 states, allowing them to go where they are needed or to visit a new location. If you are interested in learning more about current crisis needs or want to search jobs in any Compact state, contact us today!