?? A "National Nursing License" (RN)

  1. Just out of curiosity...........what do all of you think about the feasibility of there being a National Nursing License, for RN's?
    What would some of the "pros" and "cons" be?

    I live and work in Minnesota and if I'm not mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong because I haven't really researched it thoroughly), but we can work in North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin on our Minnesota License, without having to be licensed in those states.

    I am licensed in seven states because I was married to a "Nomad" for twenty years (divorced now thank God).........but only keep my Minnesota License active.

    It just seems to me that we could be issued a National License because the standards for licensure are comparable state by state, are they not?

    It would sure make it easier for all of us as a profession because of our mobile society.

    Interested to hear feedback from all of you.

    Bonnie Creighton, RN, Minnesota
    •  
  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    I have wondered the same thing. Now days everone takes the same NCLEX don't they? There are Compact states with this same premise. On the other hand, I guess if different states have CE requirements, that would be a mess trying to coordinate them all wouldn't it?

    Back in the stone age I think it was Kansas that had a higher passing grade on the state boards. But now the score is all the same, isn't it?

    I live quite close to Georgia, and in order to work home health here (through a Georgia agency) I would have needed to have a Ga license even though I wouldn't need to ever go to in Ga. Hmmm wonder what the ANA has to say about it?

    Oct. 3: Edited for Jay I NEVER meant I wouldn't set foot in GA. I love GA. I just meant an agency from GA required a GA license for me to work in SC

    ____________
    I found this in a 1998 journal abstract.

    http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/topic9/topic9_3.htm

    Also in it it said California allowed RN and LVN licensure to people who had no formal nurse education???????
    Last edit by P_RN on Oct 3, '01
  4. by   nurseleigh
    I dont see why all states cant come together as far as the requirements. It doesnt seem right that in one state your requirements to be licensed are higher than in another state. It is still for the same job.

    On another note about licenses, after you take your NCLEX and pass(god willing) do you ever have to take it again? I am still a student and we were discussing this the other day. I figured it was like your drivers license and after 10 years(i think) you have to go through the driving test again but up to that time you can just renew it without having to take any tests. Someone else told me that it was basically good for life as long as you keep it renewed( the nursing license not the driving).
    Thanks
    Traci
  5. by   nur20
    Originally posted by WriteStuff
    Just out of curiosity...........what do all of you think about the feasibility of there being a National Nursing License, for RN's?
    What would some of the "pros" and "cons" be?

    I live and work in Minnesota and if I'm not mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong because I haven't really researched it thoroughly), but we can work in North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin on our Minnesota License, without having to be licensed in those states.

    I am licensed in seven states because I was married to a "Nomad" for twenty years (divorced now thank God).........but only keep my Minnesota License active.

    It just seems to me that we could be issued a National License because the standards for licensure are comparable state by state, are they not?

    It would sure make it easier for all of us as a profession because of our mobile society.

    Interested to hear feedback from all of you.

    Bonnie Creighton, RN, Minnesota
    That is the best idea iv'e heard in a long time !!!! One standard, one exam, one license. They even charge different amounts in different states for renewal.It certainly would make our lives simpler and you would think their's too
    Please visit my website !!!!!!
    Last edit by nur20 on Sep 23, '01
  6. by   BrandyBSN
    Hmmmm, its a good idea, and would make being mobile a lot easier... but I am not sure it would work.

    Different States put different limits on nursing practice, and we are required to know what the State nursing practice act for each state we practice in...

    Maybe if for each state you wanted to work in, you were required to take a test over that state NPA? Ofcourse we could just lobby to get a "National Nursing Practice Act", that would apply in ever state. That would be a good thing, and would lead to a national license as well.

    BrandyBSN
  7. by   WriteStuff


    P-RN, thanks for that excellent journal abstract link. I had no idea so much research and thought had actually gone into this. If others of you haven't checked it out - do it - it's got important information.

    Bonnie Creighton, RN
  8. by   P_RN
    Thanks Bonnie, my trusty Google.com is to thank for the site. I LOVE GOOGLE. For those of you who haven't tried it, please do. Actual real, live human beings do the search work.

    Someone over on the newsgroup sci.med.nursing has asked the same question, so it must be floating around fairly frequently.

    And Good Golly Miss Leigh!!!! I sure HOPE we don't have to take the exam over every 10 years!!!!!!! I took it in 1974! They hadn't even invented electricity much less penicillin that long ago (said facetiously).

    I think the hardest thing would be to keep track of sanctions from state to state. and the state boards would be losing a lot of money wouldn't they? But then again, we can drive anywhere in the US on one driver's license. (That is if you can call some of it Licensed Driving.)
  9. by   RNed
    A national nursing license is a good idea. It would make things easier.

    The problem comes from each individual state giving up control and of coarse with that money. Currently States collect money for licenses in each respective state and therefore set the standards of nursing practice. Although most are basic and consistent with other states there are subtle differences. In practical application the difficulties arise with control, legal ramifications and monitoring.

    Legally healthcare cases would need to be reviewed by federal courts rather than local courts , this in itself places a roadblock. I believe lawyers would certainly object to this change. There are numerous reasons others would object to this as well.

    One of the things we could support which would accomplish nearly the same thing is changes in recipocity, recognition of other state licenses, etc. An example is our marriage and driver licences. Recognised by other states for an appropriate amount of time without question. (Marriage forever of coarse) I can drive in any state with my current license for a defined amount of time, why can I not practice nursing under this same policy? If I declare residency then I would need to submit for licensure for my vehicles, driver license and nursing license, etc.

    On the con side, I fear federal control over nurses to place nurses at risk. When the federal government can easily with a broad stroke of a pen make sweeping changes to nurses and our practice, we place ourselves at risk without a unified group of nurses with a common purpose and mission. At this time, I am afraid we do not have that unity of nurses.

    No new testing, I took the test too, too long ago, my experience level would get in the way of correct answers. The nursing test is theory and I believe those of us more mature, experinced (old, older and oldest) would allow experience to interfer with the correct answers.

    I support the idea, however, maybe this is not the time.
  10. by   spudflake
    It's interesting that if you work for the gonerment (VA Hospitals, etc) you don't need a license for the state you're working in. I know people who get licensed but the cheapest state and work VA. I have licenses in three states and pay a different fee for each. I have to have 30 CEU's for NV and next time I renew in Oregon I will have to show that I have taken a pain management class. Pain our 5th vital sign. Thank you Tipper Gore - like we don't hvae enough stuff to worry about.
  11. by   ktwlpn
    I would like to see this for L.P.N.'s and c.n.a's also...with consistent practice acts in each state....Then all of us could be utilized to the fullest extent of our scope of practice....this can only be good for everyone needing the sevices of the health care system...(IMHO)
  12. by   nurseleigh
    I think you misunderstood me. I DO NOT think we should have to take the boards every 10 years. It was meant more as a question. Let me make it a little clearer.

    Once you get your license, do you ever have to actually sit down to take the NCLEX again? Or is it just a process of renewing it every year? And if you just renew it, do you have to prove that you are still taking classes to keep up to date on everything?

    I just used the 10 year thing as an example because i think that is how often you have to retake the written exam for your drivers license, at least in illinois.

    So sorry for the confusion.
  13. by   mustangsheba
    I have advocated for a long time having an interstate license. Protocols are different in every hospital in the same state. Laws state "according to hospital protocol." The point being that we have to check protocols no matter where we are. As an agency nurse, I frequently check with my charge nurse before doing more than basic nursing care. It's interesting to me that sometimes they need to check their own protocols. Changes always bring new problems, however, I think that having a U.S. nursing license would solve more problems than it would create. (Now I will read the article and return should I change my mind.) By the way, I obtained my CEU's through correspondence for Nevada renewal. I could look up the information if anyone is interested. Addendum: In Oregon, if you keep your license current, you don't have to retake the NCLEX.
  14. by   P_RN
    Leigh, no you don't take the NCLEX over. DIfferent states have different renewal requirements.

    Some like Florida (I think) require a certain number of continuing education hours in order to renew. Here in SC you have to have worked 960 hours in 5 years (I think again, don't have it in front of me). That plus $60 gets me a license every Jan 31. No CE s are needed. We renew every year. Some states every 2 years.


    http://www.numedix.com/PAnursing.html

    This is a commercial site but it has some specifics.


    http://www.nac4you.com/State_Nursing_N_to_W.htm

    I can only get n to w to come up but here is another one.

close