With 25 states already taking the step to enact the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), it is likely it will go into effect before the end of this year, according to Ann Zenk, WHA vice president, workforce and clinical practice. The enhanced compact will be enacted the earlier of either December 31, 2018, or when 26 states join.
In a presentation to the WHA Workforce Development Council July 13, Zenk said that similar to the current compact, of which Wisconsin was an inaugural member in 2000, the 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.
WHA, along with the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives and the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, are in support of Wisconsin adopting the eNLC. WHA will work with state lawmakers to adopt the eNLC to ensure Wisconsin will continue to benefit from the expedited licensure process provided through the Compact.
Zenk also presented an update on WHA’s development of a package of reforms to Wisconsin regulations and statutes intended to help WHA’s members further advance emerging integrated and team-based models of care. Assembly Bill 146, Wisconsin Act 20, was signed into law June 21, 2017. It enables dental hygienists to provide dental hygiene care in hospitals and clinics without supervision by a dentist. Expanding the settings in which this care can occur may ultimately lead to a reduction in emergency department visits for preventable dental conditions—an effective use of hospital and health systems’ workforce to improve outcomes and lower cost.
WHA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kyle O’Brien joined the meeting to provide a budget and legislative update. O’Brien discussed the current status of the state budget and several WHA accomplishments, including the additional investment of funds to support new rural clinical training experiences for advanced practice clinicians, allied health professionals and graduate medical education for physicians.
O’Brien also updated the Council on recent proposals put forward by management and labor representatives of the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council. The Department of Workforce Development said worker’s compensation premium rates for Wisconsin businesses will drop 8.46 percent in 2017.
The WHA Workforce Report is in progress, and council members shared their experiences with how they use the data and recommendations in the report and made suggestions on what they believe policymakers can do to improve the supply of and training for Wisconsin’s health care workforce. The 2017 report is slated for release in October.