Multi-State License Bill Aims to Ease Nursing Shortage in Oklahoma

February 16, 2016

Some nurses would be able to cross the border into or out of Oklahoma without getting a new professional license under legislation approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Health.

House Bill 2482, by state Rep. Pat Ownbey, would establish the terms for a nurse licensure compact with other states that would allow for a multi-state license whose standards would exceed or match those of any of the individual states.

“The problem for a multi-state license is that states have different standards,” said Ownbey, R-Ardmore. “The solution in the license in this compact is that it meets or exceeds the individual standards. Those who would not qualify to practice in one state would be unable to get a multi-state license.”

The multi-state license would cost $150 with a renewal fee of $125 every two years. The Oklahoma license currently costs $85 with a renewal fee of $75 every two years.

Ownbey noted that telemedicine companies will not come to Oklahoma because the state is not part of a multi-state compact. Oklahoma is not part of a current compact in place between 25 states. The new compact is intended to include those 25 states and others, but all states must pass legislation to do so.

“Oklahoma has a lot of health care problems and we have health care professional shortages in different parts of the state,” Ownbey said. “My hope is that my legislation will be able to improve the health care picture in Oklahoma.”

Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives

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