The Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services met for the first time late last week. The committee took testimony on the impact that joining the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) would have on the delivery of nursing services to the residents of Indiana. The Compact would allow nurses in border/regional communities to practice across state lines without the financial and regulatory burden of two state licenses.

Representative Ed Clere (New Albany) testified that the NLC was a simple concept that allows nurses to practice in any other compact state subject to state laws of the home state. This is particularly important to border communities like Floyd County, where a nurse might live in Louisville and work in New Albany or vice versa. For proponents, this is both a workforce and quality of care issue. Thirty states have ratified the compact, including Kentucky.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Baptist Health Floyd, One Southern Indiana (the local chamber), the Indiana Hospital Association and the coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses in Indiana are all in support of the NLC. The Indiana State Nurses Association testified that it was neutral because it had nurses on both sides.

At the request of Indiana Chamber member Hosparus Health, the Chamber previously expressed its support in writing by requesting the Legislative Council to study the issue. Hosparus Health is one of the nation’s largest non-profit hospice and palliative care providers, serving counties in Kentucky and Indiana. Like many providers, Hosparus Health has faced staffing barriers due to the shortage of registered nurses and believes the Compact will ease the financial burden of dual licensure for the organization and its practitioners.

No action was taken by the committee, but the Indiana Chamber is hopeful this matter will come to a positive resolution in the upcoming General Assembly and will be advocating for that to happen. 

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: [email protected]