Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

October 9, 2019

Compact would help nurses work across state lines

Photo/File Becker College Professor Enoh Ukpong trains nursing students.

The push is on from hospitals and patient advocates for Massachusetts to join a national consortium of 33 states that allow nurses to obtain one license to practice in all participating states, but not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

Rep. Kay Khan has filed a bill (H 1944) to move Massachusetts into the Nurse Licensure Compact and allow nurses licensed in other participating states to practice in Massachusetts, and vice versa. The Newton Democrat said it would increase access to nursing services for patients, and give nurses the flexibility they need to care for patients across state lines.

"With the constant development of managed care, tele-health, and a more mobile population, nurses today often need to practice with patients who live across state lines and some nurses travel the country to fill in where they are needed at a moment's notice," Khan told the Committee on Health Care Financing.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, however, has fought the idea, suggesting that it would weaken nursing standards in Massachusetts and be used by the hospitals to outsource nursing using technology to cheaper labor in other states.

In New England, only New Hampshire and Maine participate in the compact.

The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association and AARP testified side-by-side in support of the bill Tuesday, pitching it as a solution to a shortage of qualified nurses to hire in Massachusetts. "AARP considers this one of our highest priorities," said Mike Festa, state director for AARP and a former member of the House.

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners


Order a PDF