Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

Massachusetts Healthcare Organizations Urge Passage of the Nurse Licensure Compact

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41 States and Jurisdictions Have Joined the NLC to Support their Local Workforce

BURLINGTON, MA – November 7, 2023 – The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) today announced overwhelming support for Massachusetts’ adoption of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which is being considered by the state’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing at a Tuesday hearing. With more than 5,100 vacant RN hospital positions throughout Massachusetts, healthcare organizations say adopting the NLC is an immediate step the commonwealth can take to grow the nursing workforce, support frontline caregivers, and expand access patient to care.

An Act Relative to Nurse Licensure Compact in Massachusetts (H.1211 / S.747), sponsored by Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton) and Sen. Barry Finegold (D-Andover), would enable the commonwealth to join 41 states and US jurisdictions that have adopted the NLC. The Compact allows qualified nurses to hold one multistate license with the ability to practice in all other compact states, eliminating the arduous re-licensure process.

In addition, the adoption of An Act Relative to Nurse Licensure Compact in Massachusetts would:

  • Allow qualified nurses from across state lines to more easily practice in Massachusetts
  • Enable nurses to deliver follow-up telehealth services for patients who return to their home state – including those who receive reproductive and gender-affirming care
  • Provide the commonwealth with an important emergency response tool, for cases in which a rapid increase in caregivers is needed
  • Boost the availability of workers in in community-based and post-acute settings

The NLC is endorsed by a broad coalition of healthcare organizations, the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, The Boston Globe, and every hospital in the state. If passed, the Compact would offer a proven, common-sense solution to grow the nursing profession, while providing relief to organizations across the continuum of care that are struggling to recruit staff.

“All of healthcare is in search of answers on how to best support and grow our workforce. This is a rare solution that has already been proven effective across the nation, enjoys nearly unanimous support, and would make an immediate difference once enacted,” said MHA president and CEO Steve Walsh. “We owe it to our patients and frontline caregivers to embrace innovation and become a compact state.”

Endorsing the NLC is one of many recent steps Massachusetts healthcare organizations are taking to address the workforce shortage. To learn more, read MHA’s 2022 report, AN ACUTE CRISIS: How Workforce Shortages are Affecting Access & Costs.