Letter to the Editor

Rep. Schomacker's bill makes it easier for nurses to do their jobs across state lines

In an effort to improve health care in Minnesota for out-of-state patients, state Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) is sponsoring legislation that would create a nurse licensure compact.

“Our local hospitals tell me all the time that it’s difficult under current law to not have a compact in place,” Schomacker said. “For example, if someone comes from Rock Rapids or Garretson and receives treatment at a southwestern Minnesota hospital, it can be problematic for nurses who need to call back with a prescription or follow up due to the problems associated with exchanging medical information across state lines.”

Schomacker’s Nurse Licensure Compact gives nurses the opportunity to be licensed in the nurse’s home state or state of residency (if the state is part of the compact) to practice in other member states. States must adopt the compact through legislation in order to be members, and Schomacker’s legislation would allow Minnesota to become a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. Currently 29 other states are involved with the compact.

In a 2017 survey of licensed nurses from the state board of nursing, more than 80 percent of nurses support adoption of the compact. The same survey showed that of nurses that have a compact license today from another state, 93 percent of them found the compact beneficial to their profession.

“We want to make it easier for hospitals to provide health care, make it easier for nurses to practice in their field and this is a great way to get that done. The best part is that nurses overwhelmingly want it too,” Schomacker concluded.

 

 

 

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