New Downey-Sponsored Law Expands Access to Nurses for New Jersey Patients

Legislation entering New Jersey into the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) will allow licensed New Jersey nurses to practice in any state that has also entered into this agreement. The bill (A-1597), sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Paul Moriarty, Shavonda Sumter, Angela McKnight, Raj Mukherji and Joann Downey, was signed into law Friday.

Prior to this licensure agreement, nurses had to obtain a license from each state in which they intended to practice nursing. This process involved applications, fees and possibly even testing that could make it more complicated for nurses to relocate or treat patients in other states.

“More than 30 states have already joined the eNLC – with several more pending – because it just makes sense,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “The convenience of this beneficial agreement will lead to positive outcomes for both the nurses and patients of New Jersey.”

The eNLC requires each participating state to use the same set of standards for licensure so that a nurse from one state will have the necessary qualifications to practice in any of the 33 other states that are a part of the compact.

The compact not only makes it easier for nurses to move to other locations, but also allows them to partake in the remote treatment of patients in other states via telemedicine, while still practicing nursing in their home state.

Under the eNLC, each state has a representative on an interstate commission that handles the implementation, administration, and regulation of the compact. Each state also has access to a database of any investigations or penalties against nurses in order to monitor their status and suspend or revoke licenses as necessary.


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