Chicago – The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (NLCA) are pleased to announce that Montana has passed legislation to join the NLC, which was signed into law by Governor Steve Bullock. The state will now begin the rulemaking process to work toward implementation on Oct. 1, 2015.
“As a rural-frontier state, in some areas Montana lacks access to specialized nursing services and relies on telehealth services for important types of case management for patients facing chronic diseases. Increasing access for quality nursing care for the citizens of Montana was a motivating factor for the Montana Board of Nursing’s (MBON) support of promoting the legislation to become a member of the NLC,” stated Cynthia Gustafson PhD, RN, executive director, MBON. “We believe that becoming a member of the NLC ensures the MBON’s mission of public safety and the promotion of quality nursing care for Montana. Our neighboring states are also a part of the NLC so this will help nurses give the cross-border care we need in our part of the west where there are many miles between services.”
Implemented in 2000, the NLC advances public protection and access to care through the mutual recognition of one state-based license that is enforced locally and recognized nationally. The NLC is an interstate compact allowing a nurse to have one license (issued by the primary state of residence) with the privilege to practice in other compact states (both physically and via technology). The NLC applies to registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical or vocational nurses (LPN/VNs).
Sandra Evans, MAEd, RN, chair, NLCA, executive director, Idaho Board of Nursing, applauds the efforts of the MBON who, in collaboration with their constituents and partners, worked for adoption of the NLC at a time when nurses are increasingly expected to provide care across state lines and commented, “The need for nurses in home and community-based health care settings as well as the delivery of health care via telehealth demands a new model of nursing regulation. The NLC complements the current regulatory authority of the MBON by removing unnecessary barriers to interstate practice while providing for the protection of Montana’s citizens.”
Currently, 24 other states have enacted the legislation allowing for participation in the NLC, including: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Operationally, the NLC is administered by the NLCA, which is made up of the participating state-designated NLC administrators.
Founded March 15, 1978, as an independent not-for-profit organization, NCSBN was created to lessen the burdens of state governments and bring together BONs to act and counsel together on matters of common interest. NCSBN’s membership is comprised of the BONs in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. There are also 21 associate members that are either nursing regulatory bodies or empowered regulatory authorities from other countries or territories.
NCSBN Member Boards protect the public by ensuring that safe and competent nursing care is provided by licensed nurses. BONs regulate more than 4 million licensed nurses.
Mission: NCSBN provides education, service and research through collaborative leadership to promote evidence-based regulatory excellence for patient safety and public protection.
The statements and opinions expressed are those of NCSBN and not the individual member state or territorial boards of nursing.