Nurses in Illinois would have more flexibility to work in other states, under legislation passed by the Senate April 25. Senate Bill 677 allows Illinois to join 25 other states that are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses in Illinois to be recognized in other compact member states. The legislation would also allow nurses in NLC states, such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky, to work in Illinois.
The legislation would mean nurses would not have to run the risk of disciplinary action if they call a patient in another state but the nurse is not licensed in that state. It would also help nurses avoid obtaining costly licenses from several states or go through each state’s continuing education hours. Proponents say with more patients choosing to obtain their healthcare in neighboring states, or if there is a natural disaster requiring immediate medical workers, this would allow nurses to practice across state lines without having to jump through all the hoops.
The NCL requires background checks that mirror current practices already in place in Illinois. The legislation now moves to the House for consideration.