Is California Part of the Nurse Licensure Compact?
No, but it should be.
California Senate Bill 1053 (SB 1053) would allow California to join the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) and allow for interstate mobility for California nurses. This is especially important during times like this, where pandemics like COVID-19 are able to cross state boundaries faster than nurses can. For up-to-date information on state licensure, check out or COVID-19 Nurse Resource Center.
So, why is this important to us at Trusted, and why are we big proponents of it passing?
Why SB 1053 Is Important to Trusted
Our job is to connect nurses with opportunities that will lead to their own success as well as the success of the wider healthcare system. We have seen firsthand the issues that California’s system of nurse licensure presents. On the other hand, we’ve also seen the way the nurse licensure compact has dramatically modernized the healthcare system in other states by leveraging the power of mobility, portability, and flexibility.
We help hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country access nurses when their normal workforce numbers are not sufficient. This includes when regions are responding to disease outbreaks and natural disasters, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Access to mobile nursing professionals, such as the Trusted Nurses that we work with, can be a key component of true emergency preparedness.
Why We’re Big Fans of SB 1053
Working as a licensed nurse in a compact state allows this same nursing license to be accepted in any of the 34 compact-implemented states. This removes many of the complexities and barriers that must be dealt with when working across state lines, which is especially useful for travel nurses. This means that compact states have access to a greater pool of nurses with skills mapped to the state’s needs, also helping ease any kind of nursing shortage currently being experienced by said states.
This is currently very much the reality for California, which would greatly benefit from an influx of nurses from states with lower demand.
California is also the highest-paying state for nursing in the country, meaning that thousands of high-paying nursing roles are going unfilled -- processing times for licensure in CA can be up to three months, a huge barrier for nurses to provide care in the state -- a missed opportunity for nurses across the country that could greatly benefit from these positions, while simultaneously improving nurse-to-patient ratios and easing the strain on already overworked staff nurses.
What It Means for You
If you are an active working nurse in a compact state, and California passes SB 1053 to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, you will be able to work in California using the same multi-state license you already have; no need to spend the time and money acquiring a single-state license. Moreover, if you’re a born-and-bred Californian nurse and you want to try out travel nursing, you can more easily make the temporary move to other compact states.
In our eyes, SB 1053 is a win-win-win. States win, nurses win, and patients win.
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