Legislature(2021 - 2022)

2021-02-18 House Journal

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2021-02-18                     House Journal                      Page 0146
HB 83                                                                                                                         
HOUSE BILL NO. 83 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                                                    
the Governor, entitled:                                                                                                         
     "An Act relating to the licensure of nursing professionals; relating                                                       
     to a multistate nurse licensure compact; and providing for an                                                              
     effective date."                                                                                                           
was read the first time and referred to the Health & Social Services and                                                        
Labor & Commerce Committees.                                                                                                    
The following fiscal note(s) apply:                                                                                             
1.  Zero, Dept. of Health & Social Services                                                                                     
2.  Zero, Dept. of Public Safety                                                                                                
3. Fiscal, Dept. of Commerce, Community, & Economic                                                                             
The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 29 follows:                                                                     
"Dear Chief Clerk:                                                                                                              
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to a Multistate Nurse                                                           
Licensure Compact.                                                                                                              
This bill would allow Alaska to adopt the Multistate Nurse Licensure                                                            
Compact, which would strengthen the State's healthcare delivery                                                                 
system by reducing barriers to licensure for Registered and Licensed                                                            
Practical Nurses, and by increasing opportunities for nurses from other                                                         
states to practice in the State.                                                                                                

2021-02-18                     House Journal                      Page 0147
The Multistate Nurse Licensure Compact would allow Registered and                                                               
Practical Nurses in any of the 34 participating states to practice in                                                           
Alaska without being subject to a time-consuming licensing process. It                                                          
would also provide Alaska nurses with a multistate license to practice                                                          
in the other 34 participating states, as well. This bill would not affect                                                       
Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses                                                               
(APRNs), or anyone else who wishes to practice under an Alaska-only                                                             
nursing license. For those practitioners, this bill preserves the                                                               
availability of temporary licenses and licensure by credentials.                                                                
This bill would codify the Nurse Licensure Compact as a new statute,                                                            
AS 08.69. Conforming changes to the existing nursing statute, AS                                                                
08.68, would be made to accommodate the Compact's requirements.                                                                 
The Compact's requirements for multistate licensure are rigorous,                                                               
exceeding those in our present statute, and supporting high-quality                                                             
care for all Alaskans.                                                                                                          
The Compact would establish a commission with rulemaking,                                                                       
enforcement, and financial assessment provisions. Alaska would                                                                  
appoint one person to be the compact administrator within the state.                                                            
The single-state and multi-state nurse licensing programs would have                                                            
separate receipt support funding, which means the multistate licensing                                                          
program will not impact the costs for the single-state licensees.                                                               
This bill is a win-win, keeping our present licensure options for CNAs,                                                         
APRNs, and Alaska-only licensees, while opening Alaska's diverse                                                                
communities to multistate licensed RNs and LPNs to help fill the                                                                
hundreds of nursing vacancies across the state. This legislation is                                                             
strongly supported by healthcare facilities and nurses throughout                                                               
Alaska, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.                                                                              
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                        
Mike Dunleavy