In the News: Interstate compact would help nurses get to work

Seattle Times Editorial 

Washington has a shortage of nurses in the best of times. But especially during the ongoing public health emergency, the state cannot afford to have qualified professionals sitting on their hands waiting for paperwork to go through. Even in an emergency, nurses who travel to the state to fill critical care gaps in hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities must wait at least a day or two for permission to pitch in and help.

Lawmakers can change that by approving Senate Bill 5247, making Washington part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows licensed nurses to practice in each of 34 participating states.

…The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, would not force nurses into multistate licenses, which critics say are more expensive. But it would give them the option.