For more than six years, a number of lawmakers have been pushing for Illinois to join the dozens of other states that are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. This would allow registered Illinois nurses to work in other states in the Compact and permit licensed nurses from other Compact states to practice in Illinois. On March 2, a compromise bill, Senate Bill 2214, was successfully pushed through the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee.
Legislative advocates say the legislation will be instrumental in helping our state recruit and retain quality nurses. It will particularly benefit those border communities of states already in the Compact, including Wisconsin, Kentucky, Iowa and Missouri, by allowing nurses from both sides to travel and work across state lines.
If signed into law, Illinois would become the 26th state to join the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).
While this legislation expands opportunities for licensed nurses, it also establishes patient protections by requiring the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to check the NLC database prior to granting applicants the ability to practice in Illinois to determine whether a nurse has been previously disciplined. Additionally, licensed nurses applying to practice in Illinois must submit their fingerprints to the State Police. The fingerprints will be used against the State Police and FBI criminal history records check.
Senate Bill 2214 passed committee with unanimous support and has been sent to the Senate floor for a vote.
The link to the Nurse Licensure Compact can be found here.