National Nursing License

  1. 0
    Why can't we have one national nursing license and still give states the authority to have their own nurse practice act? Isn't that what the compact state license is doing? We already have the NCLEX, so who is keeping this from happening?
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    It's like this for most professions that require licensure - attorneys and physicians cannot work in just any state they want, either. I'm pretty sure even aestheticians/cosmetologists must obtain licensure in the state where they want to work, also.
  5. 2
    Quote from docomo
    Why can't we have one national nursing license and still give states the authority to have their own nurse practice act? Isn't that what the compact state license is doing? We already have the NCLEX, so who is keeping this from happening?
    For the same reason the federal government got into trouble over gay marriage, educational standards and professional licensure are powers of the states for the most part with some exceptions such as the FAA.

    NCLEX merely came about as states agreed to a national testing standard instead of fifty different state board exams. You still must meet whatever qualifications set down by a state to sit for the boards and each of the fifty states are members of the NCSBN: https://www.ncsbn.org/181.htm

    One of the main powers federal government does have involves interstate commerce but nurses are labor.

    Compact states merely allow mutual recognition of a nurse's license between member states. If you are licensed in RI and want to work in ND for instance. But if you want to permanently move from one state to another you will have to obtain licensure in your new home location.

    In order to have a national license you would have to also have a national standard on everything from who can enter nursing programs, course content, requirements for graduation, scope of practice and so forth. You would also have to set up a national discipline system as well. There isn't even uniformity as to what constitutes "moral turpitude" and or being of "good moral character" when it comes to applying for a license. Criminal background ditto: here in NYS a disorderly conduct offense won't keep you from a license, but just across the Hudson River in NJ it can.
    Last edit by DoGoodThenGo on Jul 3, '13 : Reason: Content
    elkpark and JBudd like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from docomo
    Why can't we have one national nursing license and still give states the authority to have their own nurse practice act? Isn't that what the compact state license is doing? We already have the NCLEX, so who is keeping this from happening?
    Because the Constitution of the USA does not address it, and any issues that it does not address belong to the states to regulate. As such, it would require a constitutional amendment. Basic Civics.

    Good luck with that.
  7. 1
    Nurses already have more flexibility than (AFAIK) any other licensed profession. Other professions typically have to be tested again to become licensed in another state; we can apply for licensure by endorsement. Shoot, my sister was a real estate agent (on the side, not her full-time career) and found, when she moved to another state, that, in order to be able to function legally in the new state as a real estate agent, she'd have to start from scratch and go through a whole new real estate education program; her prior education and credentials meant nothing in the new state.

    And the compact is nothing like a national license -- it is simply a matter of the states which have chosen to participate (and less than half have) agreeing to temporarily recognize the other member states' licenses for work purposes.

    I am one of the many who thinks a national nursing license would be a really bad idea, and hope it never comes to pass (I also consider that possibility highly unlikely). Just look at all the people on this site who post complaints about difficulty getting in touch with their state BON, getting info from their BON, power-hungry members of the BON, etc. You think that's bad now?? What it there were only one BON for the entire country???
    KelRN215 likes this.


Top