New Jersey Implements Nurse License Compact

New Jersey Implements Nurse License Compact

CHICAGO – On Nov. 15, 2021, New Jersey completed the process of implementing the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs), whose primary state of residence is in an External Link NLC state , to hold one multistate license, with the authority to practice in person or via telehealth, in both their home state and other NLC states.
In March 2020, the New Jersey Board of Nursing partially implemented the NLC. As a result, nurses who resided in other compact states and held an active multistate license in their state of residence were able to practice in New Jersey.
As of Nov. 15, 2021, the NLC is now fully implemented in New Jersey. Full implementation will allow nurses whose primary state of residence is New Jersey to apply for a multistate (compact) license.
“Through implementation of the NLC, regulatory burdens for RNs and LPN/VNs will be significantly reduced. Having the ability to obtain a multistate license will increase access to care for patients in New Jersey and other states,” comments Sean P. Neafsey, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
Key points for nurses residing in New Jersey:
  • The NLC became fully operational in New Jersey on Nov. 15, 2021. Nurses who currently hold a New Jersey RN or LPN license may apply to “upgrade” their existing New Jersey single-state license to a multistate license.
  • The conversion application became available on the External Link New Jersey Board of Nursing website starting Nov. 15.
  • It is not necessary for New Jersey license holders to wait until their renewal period in order to apply for the multistate license.
  • New graduates of nursing programs who are New Jersey residents may apply for licensure by exam from the New Jersey Board of Nursing and can choose to pursue a multistate license.
  • Once a nurse is issued a multistate license, the nurse may stop renewing any license held in another NLC state.
Licensure requirements are aligned in NLC states, so all nurses applying for a multistate license are required to meet those same standards, including submission to a federal and state fingerprint-based criminal background check.
With the multistate license, nurses are able to provide telehealth nursing services to patients located in NLC states without having to obtain additional licenses. A multistate license facilitates cross-border practice for many types of nurses who routinely practice with patients in other states, including primary care nurses, case managers, transport nurses, school and hospice nurses and many others. Further, military spouses who experience moves every few years also benefit greatly from the multistate license.

About the Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (ICNLCA)

The ICNLCA facilitates cross border nursing practice through the implementation of the nationally recognized, multistate license, the NLC. The ICNLCA enhances nurse mobility and public protection through maintaining uniform licensure standards among party state boards of nursing; promoting cooperation and collaboration between party states, facilitating the exchange of data and information between party states; and educating stakeholders. The ICNLCA is a quasi-governmental and joint public agency of the party states created and established on July 20, 2017. The Executive Committee is the seven-member elected leadership of the ICNLCA.

About the NLC

The NLC allows for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in person or via telehealth in both their home state and other NLC states. There are 38 jurisdictions that are members of the NLC. Licensing standards are aligned in NLC states, so all nurses applying for a multistate license are required to meet the same standards, which include a federal and state criminal background check that will be conducted for all applicants for multistate licensure.
The NLC also enables nurses to provide telehealth nursing services to patients located across the country without having to obtain additional licenses. In the event of a disaster, nurses from multiple states can easily respond to supply vital services. Additionally, almost every nurse, including primary care nurses, case managers, transport nurses, school and hospice nurses, among many others, needs to routinely cross state boundaries to provide the public with access to nursing services, and a multistate license facilitates this process.
Seton Hall College of Nursing Recognized for Commitment to Improving Nursing Education

Seton Hall College of Nursing Recognized for Commitment to Improving Nursing Education

Seton Hall University’s College of Nursing has been nationally recognized as a winner of the inaugural Assessment and Impact Awards for Nursing Education by Skyfactor Benchworks, a Macmillan Learning company that provides research-based program assessments and benchmarking for a variety of programs. 

Dean Marie C. Foley, PhD, RN, accepted the award on the college’s behalf at the 2019 American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) Academic Nursing Leadership Conference.

Dean Foley tells shu.edu, “Our undergraduate faculty, led by Dr. Judith Lucas, our associate dean of undergraduate programs and assessment, are dedicated to improving our curricula and, likewise, student retention and outcomes based on relevant data. Skyfactor contributes to our success in making appropriate data-driven changes.”

The Assessment and Impact Award for Nursing was created to highlight schools of nursing that are successfully using data to improve their programs, which in turn helps to retain students and develop more practice-ready nursing professionals. Benchworks selected the winners by analyzing multi-year assessment data that identified programs that had the best results or increases in performance in areas like course interactions and quality of instruction, as well as through interviewing nursing program administrators. Seton Hall was selected for its leadership in contemporary healthcare education and blending scholarship with excellence in nursing practice.

To learn more about Seton Hall Nursing’s national recognition as a winner of the inaugural Assessment and Impact Awards for Nursing Education by Skyfactor Benchworks for its commitment to improving nursing education, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Professor Yolanda Nelson Creates System to Keep Black Nursing Students in School

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Professor Yolanda Nelson Creates System to Keep Black Nursing Students in School

Our Nurse of the Week is Yolanda Nelson, an alumna and nursing professor at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) who created a proven system to keep black nursing students in school. Her program Moving Forward Together was launched as a mentorship program to help black nursing students overcome barriers to entry in the nursing profession.

The US is rapidly growing more diverse, making the care provided by nurses of color especially valuable. According to Nelson, people of color often seek medical care with providers who are of the same race or ethnic background. 

The number of black nurses is low at most healthcare facilities and black students comprise a small portion of nursing students nationwide. This is largely due to barriers to entry including inadequate academic preparation in high school and a lack of diverse faculty in the field.

Nelson tells news.tcnj.edu, “As a student at TCNJ, I didn’t have any role models who looked like me. It would have helped if I had a mentor to encourage me.”

Nelson has thrived as a case manager and practicing clinician and served in leadership roles at several hospitals in New Jersey throughout her career. She has personally witnessed a lack of mentoring as another road block to increasing diversity in nursing and healthcare.

To help address this issue, Nelson launched Moving Forward Together when she joined TCNJ’s faculty in 2017. Moving Forward Together is a mentorship program that matches TCNJ’s black nursing students with working black nurse mentors, some of whom are alumni. Mentors are “someone they can lean on” in dealing with a professor, developing study skills, or finding their first job. So far, Nelson has matched 30 students with mentors and has seen six participants graduate.

To learn more about olanda Nelson, an alumna and nursing professor at The College of New Jersey who created a proven system to keep black nursing students in school, visit here

Nurse of the Week: ICU Nurse Kristina Dejesus Helps Save Her Own Life After Losing Arm

Nurse of the Week: ICU Nurse Kristina Dejesus Helps Save Her Own Life After Losing Arm

Our Nurse of the Week is Kristina Dejesus , an ICU nurse from New Jersey who helped save her own life after losing her arm in a boat propeller accident.

Dejesus was on a trip to Texas with her friends in October 2017 when tragedy struck during a boat trip on Lake Travis. A strong current pulled her into contact with a boat propeller, but she didn’t realize she had lost her limb until she was pulled from the water by two witnesses who had military experience. Her professional instincts took over immediately and she began instructing her friends on what to do, effectively helping to save her own life.

Dejesus tells FoxNews.com, “I’m an ICU nurse and I knew I had to lie flat with my legs up and put pressure on my wound. It was at this point I realized I didn’t have an arm. I couldn’t believe it. I was lucky because my wound was not bleeding heavily. My artery had been kinked and it was a clean cut.”

Recognizing the severity of the situation, Dejesus instructed her friends to put pressure on her wound while she was taken to an ambulance waiting on shore, then airlifted to Dell Seton Medical Center for emergency surgery. She went into surgery and woke up intubated, sedated, and on life support.

Dejesus was eventually transferred home to New Jersey where she underwent weeks of physical and occupational therapy and received a prosthetic arm. She has since resumed working at Overlook Hospital and returned to the lake with her friends on the one-year anniversary of her accident to gain closure and celebrate life with those who helped save her.

To learn more about ICU nurse Kristina Dejesus who helped save her own life after losing her arm in a tragic boat propeller accident, visit here.

Nurse Residencies in Post-Acute Care Hinge on Leadership

Nurse Residencies in Post-Acute Care Hinge on Leadership

Experience in New Jersey showed programs faltered without strong leaders

Effective leadership is crucial to the success of initiatives like implementing a nurse residency program in a post-acute care (PAC) setting. These programs can be a valuable asset for recruiting, educating, and retaining nurses in a healthcare environment that’s increasingly in need of skilled and knowledgeable staff.

The New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC) launched a statewide nurse residency program in 2014, achieving a retention rate of 86%. New nurses and their experienced preceptors attended interactive, in-person education. Preceptors then applied their new knowledge to helping their new nurses become competent and engaged. The success of their experiences depended on many things; a nurse leader who championed the program in the clinical setting was often a linchpin.

Effective leaders elucidated the benefits of participation to administration and staff, justifying the expense of sending nurses to the program. Continuing leadership ensured new nurses and preceptors were given time to attend class and to meet regularly, and were given encouragement when difficulties arose.

Perhaps even more importantly, wise nurse leaders were open to ideas that participating nurses brought back to the workplace. For a facility to benefit fully from the education, it had to be willing to embrace fresh strategies.

In the NJAC experience, it became clear that when a nurse leader resigned, the program often lost its main advocate. Negative effects were seen in reduced attendance and support for nurse resident/preceptor activities at the facility, such as performance improvement project work. Nurse leaders provide preceptors with the organizational support for what can be a stressful role. Leadership is also required for the maintenance of a healthy work environment in order to retain nurses.

Qualitative research completed during the project revealed that new nurses clearly see the need for robust leadership. Their comments about the needs of PACs yielded a desire for “visionary, hands-on management” and “teamwork, respect, and kindness between colleagues.” Such insights from new nurses indicate that PACs are ripe for organizational culture change through imaginative and innovative leadership.

NJAC offers this advice for nurse leaders considering a nurse residency program:

  • Know your costs for vacant positions (from overtime to onboarding). Quantifying savings achieved by improving retention via a residency program substantiates the return on investment.
  • Choose preceptors wisely. Look for knowledge, skill, ability to use clinical teaching strategies, and dedication to helping nurses thrive. The importance for a good fit between preceptor and nurse resident was apparent in the NJAC experience and identified by Moore & Cagle (2012) and Richards & Bowles (2012). Once preceptors are chosen, invest in their education. Remember, precepting requires that even the most expert nurses acquire a new set of skills.
  • Dedicate resources for success: time; space; supplies and computer/Internet access. Enlist other professionals, such as therapists, who have much to offer a novice nurse. Modify policies, job descriptions, and clinical assignments as needed.
  • Prepare for bumps in the road and stay actively involved. Check in regularly with preceptors and new nurses to offer advice, problem solving, praise, and inspiration.
  • Explore the wealth of literature available. NJAC and Rutgers School of Nursing have just published Developing a Residency in Post-Acute Care. Its guidance on implementing a residency program and detailed lesson plans will be valuable to nurse leaders/educators working with new nurses.
  • Once the new nurse is ready for new challenges, identify opportunities such as committee membership and performance improvement projects to enhance developing professionalism, meaningful engagement, and retention.

One of the often-quoted pearls of wisdom stressed to nurses in the NJAC program is to “lead from wherever you are.” Implementing a nurse residency program is one way for PAC leaders to do just that. The rewards will be worth the voyage through uncharted waters.

This story was originally posted on MedPage Today.