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House Panel To Quickly Take Up Multi-State Nurse Licensing

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A House select committee Monday could move quickly to approve a bill designed to help nurses practice across state lines. The bill (HB 1061) was filed last week by House Health Quality Chairman Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, as House leaders take aim at various regulations in the health-care industry.

The House Select Committee on Affordable Healthcare Access, which held a discussion on the nurse-licensure issue last month, is scheduled to take up the bill Monday, one day before the start of the annual legislative session.

Committee Chairman Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said during the December meeting that he sees the bill as a way to address a nursing shortage in the state. About 25 states already take part in what is known as the "Nurse Licensure Compact," which helps nurses practice in multiple states.

Pigman's 46-page bill includes the structure for a revamped compact, which would supersede the current compact and need approval from participating states. Florida nurses would be able to request multi-state licenses. Also, nurses from other states who hold multi-state licenses would be able to practice in Florida.

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