New bill could help ease Alabama’s nursing shortage

New bill could help ease Alabama’s nursing shortage

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A bill making its way through the legislature would allow nurses who don’t have an Alabama nursing license to work anyway with a multi-state license. Supporters said it could help with the state’s nursing shortage.

Currently, a nurse needs to get an Alabama nursing license before the state will allow them to work. Because of this, the Alabama Board of Nursing says employers find it difficult to hire travel or temporary nurses because many are unwilling to get another license.

Rep. April Weaver, R-Alabaster, and Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, are sponsoring the bills allowing Alabama to opt into the Nurse Licensure Compact. Alabama would be the 32nd state to adopt the compact if it becomes law.

The Board of Nursing said this would help rural hospitals fill nursing positions. It would also allow nurses to immediately cross state lines to help in emergency situations.

There are around 99,000 nurses in Alabama.

The bill passed the Senate. The House is expected to discuss it in the coming week.

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