Pennsylvania is following the lead of 36 other states by joining the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to have one multistate license in their primary state of residence and practice in other compact states under that one license
Gov. Tom Wolf enacted Senate Bill 115, now Act 68 of 2021, on June 30. The measure was sponsored by state Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh/Northampton).
Once fully implemented, the NLC will reduce bureaucracy by enabling nurses to practice across the country without having to obtain additional licenses. Under the NLC, there is no need to wait for a state disaster declaration or an executive order to address health-care licensing issues as compact nurses are able to cross state lines and assist immediately.
While licensure by endorsement is currently available in every state, it is costly, time-consuming, and inefficient. The NLC streamlines the licensure process so that nurses, and the nursing workforce, can be as mobile as possible, creating better access to care for patients.
The NLC has been operational and successful for more than 18 years and continues to grow each year with the addition of new states.
More than 2 million nurses live in NLC states. In Pennsylvania, this new law benefits 229,000 RNs and 51,000 LPNs.
Implementation of the NLC could take between six months to one year.