NM Legislature to address Nurse Licensure Compact in 2018 Session
Joint Statement from Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, and House Minority Leader Nate Gentry
For Immediate Release: November 3, 2017
(Santa Fe, NM) Today leaders from both the House and Senate announced that the 2018 Legislature will move swiftly to enact legislation adopting the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).
New Mexico has been a member of the existing compact since 2004, but the agreement that allows qualified nurses to practice in other compact states has been updated, requiring that states pass legislation to adopt the new, or “enhanced,” compact in order to maintain reciprocity status with those who have entered into the new agreement. In order for New Mexico nurses to be grandfathered in to the eNLC, a bill will need to be introduced, passed and signed by the Governor by January 19th, three days into the session.
“It’s unfortunate that this issue was not brought to the Legislature prior to the looming deadline,” said Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth. “But the important thing is that we are going to address it swiftly and with broad bipartisan support, ensuring that New Mexico nurses as well as those from other states currently serving our communities will be able to continue practicing without interruption.”
“Adoption of the eNLC is an issue both parties recognize as being critical for our healthcare professionals in New Mexico, and we fully intend to address and pass it as soon as the session commences,” stated Stuart Ingle, Senate Minority Leader.
There has been some confusion regarding the timeline around the transition from the existing NLC to the eNLC, causing concern that New Mexico nurses could be left in a state of limbo sometime between now and the January 19th implementation date of the eNLC.
“Rest assured, the existing compact allowing New Mexico nurses to work in other compact states will remain in full effect until the new compact is officially implemented on January 19,” said Speaker of the House Brian Egolf. “And once the eNLC goes live, New Mexico will be among the states on board.”
“I look forward to working with the other members of the House and Senate leadership to quickly consider and pass the nursing compact,” said House Minority Leader Nate Gentry.
The enactment of the compact will allow registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in person or via telehealth in both their home state and other eNLC states.
Attached is a letter from the director and legal counsel of the Nurse Licensure Compact explaining the current status of the existing NLC and providing detail on timing of the transition to the eNLC.