NEW ALBANY, In. (WAVE) – Nurses in the Hoosier state will soon have an easier way to work across state lines.
Following Governor Holcomb’s approval of new legislation, Indiana can now join the “nursing licensure compact” as of July 1. It’s an interstate agreement with more than 30 states in the U.S. participating, including Kentucky, allowing nurses to have one license to practice in multiple states.
No matter what side of the river you live on, the many nurses at Baptist Health Floyd need an Indiana license to work as a nurse in the state.
Soon, an interstate agreement Indiana is joining will allow nurses to work across state lines with just one multi-state license, making it easier for nurses like Jessie Massouda to continue working in both Kentucky and Indiana.
“The multi-state compact is going to make it really easy for us to do that,” said Jessie Masouda, a clinical nurse educator at Baptist Health Floyd. "And not everyone is like me and likes to work more than one job but I mean, you apply for that multi-state license and you can go to, there’s over 30 states that have it now.”
Massouda has worked at Baptist Health Floyd in New Albany for a few months now, but continues to work at Brook Hospital in Kentucky. It’s not a long commute to reach either job, but it does require she have two separate nursing licenses, one for each state.
“It is going to increase mobility for nurses in a way we can’t even imagine yet, to see what the impact is going to be,” said Linda Minton, Director of Women’s and Emergency Preparedness at Baptist Health Floyd.
Minton spent years working with nursing and hospital groups together with lawmakers to get Indiana’s approval of joining the nursing license compact.
With the Hoosier state now able to join, Minton said they’ll be able to better serve patients without the location barrier.
"We are the only Indiana hospital in the Baptist system,” Minton said. “All the Baptist hospitals are in Kentucky, they’re a compact state, they can move and be mobile. We had to get a Kentucky license just to go across the river and go work in our own system. Now we won’t have to do that.”
Once it's implemented, there will still be rules and regulations nurses need to follow with the license compact program.
Minton said with home healthcare expanding each year, nurses are continually becoming more mobile. And this compact will make it easier for them to take care of their patients, regardless of location.
"I think it will be great and we'll be able to reach more help, too," Massouda said.
Governor Holcomb signed the interstate nursing licensure compact into law last Thursday.
“This legislation will help address workforce issues, and as a result, it will improve health care access and quality," Representative Ed Clere said. "That it brought together so many cross-border partners speaks to its regional impact.”