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Nursing compact.

As I have received some questions regarding the existing nurse licensure compact and the enhanced nurse licensure compact, this article will try to address the questions I have received and provide you with information, as of January 9, 2017, to explain Montana Nurses Association (MNA)'s position with the ongoing nurse compact legislation. This article does not reference the APRN licensure compact, but please call the MNA office if you have any questions about the APRN compact.

The original nurse licensure compact (NLC) passed in 2015 (submitted by Montana Board of Nursing-BON) and will no longer be valid past 2018. States that have passed the original NLC language from 1989 (as MT just did in 2015) must now repeal this compact legislation and enact the new enhanced nurse licensure compact legislation. The MT BON is aware, and many nurses are unaware, that from the inception of the nursing compacts (in the 1980's), the Montana Nurses Association (MNA) has been opposed and we continue to oppose until licensure jurisdiction discrepancies can be addressed and state sovereignty can be preserved for Montana and our regulatory board (BON).

For this legislative session, The Montana Hospital Association (MHA) is a proponent for the enhanced NLC bill, as one of their hospital members, St. Peters Hospital in Helena, submitted the request for the bill currently titled LC0234 Generally revise nursing compact laws. As of today, the bill is not yet in draft form.

MNA finds it troublesome that this nurse regulatory legislation is being brought forward by a hospital. Nurses believe and practice that nurses rely on the expertise provided by the practicing members of the profession to regulate the profession, as do other professions. Therefore, nurses speak to nursing issues, practice, and regulation. Any regulatory bills addressing nurse licensure should be brought forward by our MT Board of Nursing, our regulatory agency, after working collaboratively with the Montana Nurses Association, to be sure all the concerns are addressed by those they regulate and the legislation makes sense for Montana.

Please see the attached resolution (to the right) that the MNA House of Delegates passed unanimously at our annual convention in October 2016 asking to postpone acting on the enhanced nurse licensure compact legislation. We do see some value in the compact but strongly believe the enhanced compact must first address license jurisdiction and state sovereignty.

Our desire is to work collaboratively and with transparency with our BON to bring forward a nursing compact together that makes sense for our Montana nurses caring for our Montana citizens.

Postponing the enactment of the enhanced nurse licensure compact will provide us time to ensure we maintain our state sovereignty and address the many disparities within the enhanced compact. We want our regulatory agency (the MT BON) to bring forward legislation that meets our professions needs and protect our patients. Again, nurses rely on the expertise provided by the practicing members of the profession to regulate the nursing profession. Our nurse profession is regulated by the MT Board of Nursing.

Vicky Byrd, BA, RN, OCN

Caption: Diagram of how a bill progresses through the legislative process Courtesy of the State of Montana

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Title Annotation:Legislative Updates
Author:Byrd, Vicky
Publication:The Pulse
Date:Feb 1, 2017
Previous Article:Violence in Healthcare: It is not a part of the job.
Next Article:Resolution #1 Postpone legislative action on the enhanced nurse licensure compact: 2016 MNA Convention--October 4, 2016.

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