Guam has officially adopted the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), paving the way for easier hiring of nurses.
Gov. Lourdes "Lou" Leon Guerrero on Friday signed Bill 13-36, now P.L. 36-6, making Guam the first U.S. territory to enact the NLC. It has joined 35 others states that have enacted NLC.
The NLC is an agreement that allows mutual recognition and reciprocity of a nursing license among member U.S. states. The compact allows a nurse, who is holds a nursing license in a compact state, to practice in any of the other compact states without obtaining additional licensure.
Guam’s entry into the NLC will enable nurses holding an active, unencumbered multistate license to practice in Guam to assist with the nursing shortage. Residents of Guam will not be able to obtain a multistate license until the NLC is fully implemented in 2022.
“Today, Guam joins a growing number of states stepping into the future of nurse licensure," said Sen. Mary Torres, the bill's author.
"With the enactment of the NLC, nurses from other member states can now come here and practice immediately, increasing our people’s access to safe, quality care without the need to apply and wait for a Guam nursing license or disaster declaration.”
Licensing standards are aligned in NLC states, so all nurses applying for a multistate license are required to meet the same standards, including a federal and state criminal background check that will be conducted for all applicants for multistate licensure.
The NLC also enables nurses to provide telehealth nursing services to patients located across the country without having to obtain additional licenses. In the event of a disaster, nurses from compact states can easily respond to supply vital services.
Additionally, almost every nurse, including primary care nurses, case managers, transport nurses, school and hospice nurses, among many others, needs to routinely cross state boundaries to provide the public with access to nursing services, and a multistate license facilitates this process.