The COVID-19 pandemic has created excessive pressure on the country's healthcare system, with many facilities and patients impacted by staff shortages and caregiver burnout. Add to that the complexity of nurses and physicians having to navigate state-by-state licensure requirements, and the staffing shortages become even more challenging to stem.
To satisfy the growing national demand for nurses and aid the nationwide staffing shortages, we need to make changes to existing nurse licensure, whether it's more states joining the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) or the inception of universal nursing certifications and requirements. The over-arching goal should be to ensure improved quality of care and alleviate overworked clinicians.
Due to current legislative policies, nurses and physicians are licensed by states and cannot practice across state lines. Moreover, each hospital uses different forms and requirements to credential and hire a given nurse, restricting qualified local nurses from helping at other regional hospitals in urgent situations.
This partitioned system perpetuates the long-growing shortage of nurses in the U.S. and amplifies disparities in care. If providing high-quality care to patients is the goal of modern health care, then we cannot allow simple obstacles to limit the calling of our health care heroes.
You can read the complete article in The Hill,as reported by John A. Martins, group president of delivery at Cross Country Healthcare.