As standards for telehealth become more established, Hancock says innovation in nursing includes a related component: expedited licenses.
“Boards of nursing have really expedited licensures to allow nurses to come into other states who wanted either to volunteer or travel,” she says. The time to get a license can be a major hurdle for nurses, but some states have made steps to speed up the process.
In 2019, the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact was launched to provide nurses with a multi-state license to work in any state in the compact without having to receive a permanent license for each state. As of June 2022, 39 states are participating, drastically removing the complexities of licensure requirements.
Other states are offering walk-through state licenses as a solution. These temporary licenses can be obtained within 24 to 48 hours and allow nurses to start working in a state while their permanent license is processed. The time savings can be monumental, as some nurses were waiting three to six months to be issued new licenses in 2021.
Expedited licenses, combined with streamlined hospital orientations, means nurses and nursing students can get to work faster — and that can create more opportunities for innovation down the road.