WI BON Unanimously Favors Joining Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact

WHA testifies in support of adoption of the compact in Wisconsin

June 09, 2017

At a June 8 informational hearing in Madison, the Wisconsin Board of Nursing (BON) voted unanimously that it "supports the move forward in joining" the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Like the current nurse licensure compact that Wisconsin has been a member of since 2000, the updated eNLC allows nurses holding a license issued by another state participating in the compact to continue to utilize a voluntary, alternative and expedited process to receive a privilege to practice nursing in Wisconsin.

The Board of Nursing’s unanimous support of Wisconsin’s continued participation in the multi-state nurse licensure compact by adopting the updated eNLC came after hearing invited testimony from WHA and others, and after soliciting and receiving over 90 comments from nurses and nurse leaders across Wisconsin.

Ann Zenk, WHA vice president workforce and clinical practice, and Andrew Brenton, WHA assistant general counsel, provided testimony to the Board of Nursing supporting adoption of the eNLC in Wisconsin. Zenk stated that as an inaugural member of the current nurse licensure compact, many nurses and communities in Wisconsin have benefited from the streamlined licensure process afforded by participating in a multi-state nurse licensure compact.

"For the past several months, WHA has been analyzing the eNLC and having discussions with nurse leaders and member hospitals and systems across the state," Zenk said. "WHA is committed to working with stakeholders and policymakers to adopt the updated Compact so nurses licensed under the multi-state compact can continue to serve patients in Wisconsin communities without delay."

According to Zenk, key components of the eNLC include:

  • Removal of redundant red-tape in the nurse licensure process. The eNLC expedites Wisconsin licensure privileges by enabling Wisconsin to rely on licensure application standards mutually agreed upon by the participating Compact states.
  • Accountability for meeting Wisconsin practice laws. Nurses holding a multi-state license practicing in Wisconsin are still fully governed by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing and Wisconsin practice standards.
  • Voluntary nurse licensure process. If a Wisconsin nurse does not wish to participate in the multi-state Compact, that nurse can continue to practice and receive a non-compact Wisconsin license.

In addition to testifying at the Board of Nursing’s informational hearing, WHA provided the Board with a joint letter from WHA and the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives ("WONE") that expresses support for adoption of the eNLC in Wisconsin. A copy of the letter can be found here.

"WHA thanks the Board of Nursing for the special invitation to testify at the Board’s informational hearing," said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. "Portability of nurse licensure promotes the delivery of accessible, efficient and high-quality health care in Wisconsin by helping to support an adequately staffed health care workforce."

For additional information on the details of the eNLC, contact Andrew Brenton at 608-274-1820 or abrenton@wha.org, or Ann Zenk at 608-274-1820 or azenk@wha.org

This story originally appeared in the June 09, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter