Nursing License Compact Addresses Nursing Shortage

John Klein, the chairman of Alpine, NJ-based Cambridge Therapeutics, graduated from Roosevelt University with a bachelor of science and a master of business administration. Since then, he has led a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry that has culminated in several awards and repeated approvals from the Federal Drug Administration. At Cambridge Therapeutics, John Klein stays up to date on different medical challenges in his state.

In July 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law that added New Jersey to a multistate nurse-licensing compact with 33 other states. The agreement is designed to help each of them address a nurse shortage. Prior to this action, it was predicted by federal reports that New Jersey would have the third most severe shortage problem in the country by 2030.

The measure was supported by many business leaders, nursing professionals, and lawmakers in the state. With the new legislation in place, healthcare institutions and hospitals in New Jersey have the option of hiring licensed practical nurses and registered nurses who have credentials in any of the other participating states, such as Maryland and Delaware. Similarly, these states are also free to recruit licensed nurses from New Jersey or other compact states.

Some nurse unions, however, have raised concerns about potential differences in regulatory structure between states. This unfamiliarity that a nurse might have with another state’s rules could lead to record-keeping errors and gaps in patient care. The New Jersey Board of Nursing also expressed reservations for the legislation, since it tasks the board with managing the program without granting the organization any additional resources.

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