Excerpted from Press Release at Insider NJ
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Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Remove Barriers to Health Care Professionals Joining New Jersey’s COVID-19 Response and Provide Protections for Front Line Health Care Responders
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 112, authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to temporarily reactivate the licenses of recently retired health care professionals and grant temporary licenses to doctors licensed in foreign countries. The executive order also temporarily permits certain health care professionals to perform acts outside of their ordinary scope of practice and grants broad civil immunity to health care professionals and facilities providing services in support of New Jersey’s COVID-19 response efforts who are acting in good faith.
Updates on the Board’s action regarding the COVID-19 virus may be found on the Board’s website: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur/Pages/default.aspx
Alerts include information on: 1) Partial implementation of the Nurse Licensure Compact; 2) Guidance for Out-Patient Providers Evaluating Patients; and 3) a policy statement regarding nurse responsibility during the current health crisis.
Legislation entering New Jersey into the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) will allow licensed New Jersey nurses to practice in any state that has also entered into this agreement. The bill (A-1597), sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Paul Moriarty, Shavonda Sumter, Angela McKnight, Raj Mukherji and Joann Downey, was signed into law in July 2019. Prior to this licensure agreement, nurses had to obtain a license from each state in which they intended to practice nursing. This process involved applications, fees and possibly even testing that could make it more complicated for nurses to relocate or treat patients in other states.
The eNLC requires each participating state to use the same set of standards for licensure so that a nurse from one state will have the necessary qualifications to practice in any of the 33 other states that are a part of the compact. The compact not only makes it easier for nurses to move to other locations, but also allows them to partake in the remote treatment of patients in other states via telemedicine, while still practicing nursing in their home state.
Implementation date is yet to be determined. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing is hosting a series of webinars to discuss the impact of the eNLC. Registration is available online at https://www.ncsbn.org/nlc-meetings.htm.
Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that will allow terminally ill New Jersey adults to end their lives peacefully, with dignity, and at their own discretion. The bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli and Senator Nick Scutari, makes New Jersey the eighth state to allow such end-of-life decisions with the assistance of medical professionals. The “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act” permits terminally ill, adult patients residing in New Jersey to obtain and self-administer medication to end their lives. A patient’s attending and consulting physicians must determine that the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less, has the capacity to make health care decisions, and is acting voluntarily, in order for the patient to obtain the medication. The bill establishes additional procedures and safeguards that patients, physicians, and other health care professionals must follow before a qualifying patient may legally obtain and self-administer the medication.
The bill is in effect pending litigation as of August 1, 2019.
WHELAN-VITALE BILL TO ENABLE NEW JERSEY NURSES TO
PRACTICE IN OTHER STATES ADVANCES
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan and Senate Health Committee Chair Joseph F. Vitale that would enter New Jersey into the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and enable New Jersey-licensed nurses to practice in other member states advanced in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.
Under the bill, S3167 a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN / LVN) who resides and is licensed in New Jersey, and whose license is in good standing, would be allowed to practice, both physically and via technology, in other states that are members of the NLC without additional applications or fees. The nurse must still comply with the state practice laws of the state in which the patient is located at the time care is rendered. Currently, a nurse is required to be licensed in, and by, each state in which he or she chooses to practice.
“The Compact was created to address issues around telemedicine which is increasing as medicine and technology progress,” said Senator Whelan (D-Atlantic). “It also allows nurses greater flexibility and mobility when expanding their careers and experiences in their practice.”
Under the NLC, a nurse who applies for licensure is required to meet the qualifications for licensure and license renewal of the nurse’s state of residence. While a nurse may be licensed in any state or states that are not parties to the compact, a nurse may only be licensed in one state that is a party to the compact.
“Creating a streamlined process that is built around cooperation and collaboration among states will allow us to provide the public with greater access to safe nursing care while ensuring that the standards and enforcement of licensure laws are equivalent across state borders,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex). “This creates a better exchange of information between states in the area of nurse regulation and investigation to ensure a safer healthcare consumer and it also creates more options for patients and opportunities for nurses.”