Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact Passes House, Heads to Governor’s Office

Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact Passes House, Heads to Governor’s Office

Today, Members of the House of Representatives voted unanimously to adopt the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC), allowing nurses to practice in New Mexico and 27 other states without additional licensing requirements.

“Nurses are critical to our state’s healthcare system and local economies, especially in rural towns with small hospitals and nursing homes. We should be making it easier for nurses to provide care in New Mexico, not harder. Passing this compact was a bipartisan effort and we look forward to working with our colleagues across the aisle throughout the session to provide solutions for all New Mexicans,” said Representative Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque), Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Enactment of the compact means that nurses can still go to work this weekend to provide care for New Mexicans. In 2004, New Mexico signed onto the original Nursing Licensure Compact with 26 other states. The compact has been beneficial for traveling nurses on which many small hospitals and some state facilities depend on. The eNLC has revisions to the original compact that include uniform criminal background checks and the removal of barriers for other states to join.

The eNLC enjoys bipartisan support and is overwhelmingly supported by nurses and their employers. By moving to adopt this compact, New Mexico gains a competitive edge over non-member states and welcomes nurses across the country to practice in the state. The bill to adopt the compact now heads to the Governor’s office for her signature. The deadline to adopt the compact is tomorrow, January 19th.