Case Management Society of America-Chicago is working intensely to get Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) passed in Illinois. The compact will allow Illinois nurses to practice across state lines without getting a new license in each state as long as they reside in a compact state and practice in a compact state. There are currently 34 states that are part of the compact. CMSA-Chicago continues to actively partner with the American Nurses Association and National Council of State Boards of Nursing to pass the compact. Additionally, there are numerous patient safety groups and nursing organizations that are also in favor of NLC passage. NLC passage is key to Illinois nurses being able to practice modern health care, through telehealth, across state borders. It is also critical for Illinois residents to have proper access to medical care. Illinois residents deserve to not only have access to Illinois nurses via telehealth but also have access to nurses across the country. The majority of Illinois nurses are age 55 or over or have some form of disability. These nurses often are no longer able or interested in performing the physical requirements of in-person nursing. However, these nurses are ideally suited to share their nursing skills via telehealth practice. NLC also helps in addressing health care disparities. Communities who have historically received sub-par care deserve access to the best and brightest nurses across the country and not simply whatever nurses may be available in their hometown.
Our call to action for you is to contact your state senator and representative and tell them you want to see Illinois pass the Nurse Licensure Compact. We have been trying for about ten years to get NLC passed in Illinois. It failed in Illinois in 2020, mostly due to highly organized opposition from the National Nurses United IL chapter. The union opposes NLC because they feel that allowing border state nurses, which are part of NLC, will more easily allow hospitals to use border nurses to break strikes at hospitals near Illinois borders. This has proven to be not accurate. The fact is union nurses make up about 20% of the nursing workforce. We have found that many union nurses also support NLC because they realize it exponentially increases their employment opportunities. Union nurses, and non-union nurses, will possess 35 nursing licenses, instead of just one, if Illinois passes NLC. It will also exponentially increase care available to Illinois residents, especially those living in “health care deserts.” These patients will have access to nurses in 35 states instead of only having access to nurses that may be available in their community. Please consider being a member of CMSA Chicago and help us in passing NLC and in helping us shape other health care public policy. You can reach out to John Heraty or Eric Bergman at the email address below for more information or to join our public policy committee.
CMSA Chicago Public Policy Committee: John Heraty, LCSW, CCM, CPA
CMSA Chicago Public Policy Committee: Eric Bergman, RN, CCM