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January 16, 2019 3:34pm

NLC legislation on the move in Indiana

GLI Director of Government Affairs Iris Wilbur testifying in support of Senate Bill 436 on January 16, 2019.

A key GLI bi-state and health care priority is on the move in Indianapolis. With testimony in support by GLI, legislation admitting Indiana into the Nurse Licensure Compact passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services on Wednesday. 

The Nurse Licensure Compact, or NLC, is an interstate compact that allows nurses practicing in member states to hold a single license—instead of having to deal with the complexities of obtaining multiple licenses. Kentucky and 30 other states are already members of the NLC. If Indiana was to join, it would create a seamless licensure process across our bi-state region, allowing nurses to practice on both sides of the river.

Passage of NLC legislation would be hugely beneficial to nurses, providers, and patients all throughout Greater Louisville. Louisville is home to the nation’s largest concentration of aging care companies, with nearly $50 billion in revenue. In addition, many of Southern Indiana’s largest health providers are now associated with organizations across the river. As we work to position our bi-state region to be at the forefront of our nation’s health care solutions, it is crucial that regional health care companies and providers have the flexibility they need to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

Indiana’s entry into the NLC would be a significant step forward in achieving this goal. Bi-state providers and practitioners would have less regulatory and administrative burdens to deal with. Health care companies would have more flexibility in how they confront workforce shortages. Care would become more accessible for individuals receiving in-home services and patients living in rural and underserved communities. All of these features, in addition to the safeguards built into the licensing process, will help elevate Indiana into modern health care delivery.

In the 2018 session, the legislature passed Representative Ed Clere’s bill authorizing a study of the NLC, which ultimately led to an interim committee voting unanimously to recommend passage of NLC legislation. Earlier today, after hearing testimony from GLI’s Iris Wilbur and several partner organizations and businesses, members of the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services voted 11-0 to advance Senator Andy Zay’s Senate Bill 436 to the full chamber. A parallel bill—House Bill 1344 authored by Representative Clere—has billed filled in the House.

GLI encourages all of our Indiana investors to get involved in pushing for NLC legislation in the Hoosier state. Use GLI’s new legislator-contact tool to reach out to members of the Indiana General Assembly.