The process for nursing homes, assisted living communities and other employers who want to use nurses from other states has been simplified in Pennsylvania.

The state Department of Health, Board of Nursing and Department of Human Services issued a statement last week clarifying the commonwealth’s nursing standards and qualifications for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses as it relates to the Nurse Licensure Compact. The state’s participation in the compact allows out-of-state nurses to provide in-person and telehealth services to people seeking care in healthcare facilities in Pennsylvania.

“Our state nursing board and departments of health and human services came to the conclusion that a valid and certified multistate license for RNs and LPNs satisfies licensing requirements without the need for a provider to file a waiver to hire a nurse working under the Nurse Licensure Compact,” Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, explained to the McKnight’s Business Daily

“We applaud these agencies for their recognition to remove an extra layer in the hiring process of these caregivers. The NLC will continue to be a valuable resource for Pennsylvania as our population continues to see an increased older demographic in need of care,” Shamberg added.

In September, RNs and LPNs in the Keystone State joined nurses from 40 other states who hold multistate licenses through the compact.

“LeadingAge PA has long supported the adoption of the Nurse Licensure Compact Act in Pennsylvania as a commonsense way to help address the ongoing workforce shortage in aging services,” LeadingAge PA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chuck Quinnan told the McKnight’s Business Daily. “We are pleased to see the [Gov. Josh] Shapiro [D] administration continuing to follow through on this important initiative, and we urge all providers to take advantage of this additional avenue to hire qualified staff.”

Act 68 of 2021 authorized Pennsylvania to join the compact. Allowing nurses from other states to provide care in the state was “a critical first step in the full implementation” of the agreement, Commonwealth Secretary Al Schmidt said previously

“The Nurse Licensure Compact Act expressly recognizes that ‘uniformity of nurse licensure

requirements throughout the states promotes public safety and public health benefits.’ Therefore, for purposes of applying statutory and regulatory nursing standards and qualifications, RNs and LPNs holding multistate licenses pursuant to the NLC will be treated as if they possess an RN or LPN license issued by the [Pennsylvania] board,” the agencies wrote.

A study published last year by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania found that the Keystone State could see a shortfall of more than 20,000 registered nurses by 2026.