(Jan. 16) – The Colorado House of Representatives approved its first bill of the 2018 session today — Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp’s legislation to expand the nursing pool in Colorado and allow Colorado nurses to maintain their multistate practicing licenses.

“Health care does not stop at state lines and we need to ensure our nursing staff don’t have to either,” said Rep. Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, who sponsored SB18-027 in the House with Rep. Hugh McKean, R-Loveland. “This current compact has been operational and successful for more than 17 years. Our bipartisan bill allows Colorado nurses to maintain their multi-state license and join the enhanced nurse licensure compact.”

In 2006, the legislature passed SB 06-020 allowing the Colorado State Board of Nursing to enter into a multi-state nurse licensure compact. The original Nurse Licensure Compact developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing was an agreement between 25 states to allow a nurse with a multistate license in one compact state to practice in other Nurse Licensure Compact states. SB18-027 allows Colorado nurses to maintain their multistate license and join the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact.

Passing this bill authorizing Colorado to join the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) prior to the Jan. 19 implementation date provides nearly 86,000 Colorado nurses a smooth transition into the new eNLC.

After a recorded third reading vote, the bill will go to Governor Hickenlooper for his signature.

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