Illinois Senate Committee passes bill to help nursing shortage

March 24, 2021

Sen. Feigenholtz’s Senate Bill 2068 would add Illinois to the Nurse Licensure Compact

MEDIA ALERT from
ILLINOIS POLICY 

MEDIA CONTACT: Melanie Krakauer (312) 607-4977

Illinois Senate Committee passes bill to help nursing shortage
Sen. Feigenholtz’s Senate Bill 2068 would add Illinois to theNurse Licensure Compact

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (March 24, 2021) — As COVID-19 fatigue takes its toll on health care workers, the Illinois Senate passed a bipartisan bill out of the Licensed Activities Committee today that could help remedy Illinois’ nursing shortage.

Senate Bill 2068, sponsored by state Sen. Sara Feigenhotlz, D-Chicago, would add Illinois to the multistate Nurse Licensure Compact. That means Illinois would join 34 other states that accept multistate licenses to practice in the state. Illinois would still maintain its own nursing licenses and recognize existing licenses, and also allow nurses with compact licenses to practice in the state, according to Illinois Policy.

How SB 2068 would help Illinois: 

  • Illinois was facing a nursing shortage even before the pandemic struck, with more than half of current registered nurses aged 55 or older and approaching retirement.
  • Illinois is one of only a few states that requires its own nursing license, creating a costly and time-intensive obstacle for nurses who want to work in the state. Each nurse wishing to practice in Illinois must pay $50 for a license as well as fees for fingerprinting and background checks.
  • 34 states are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, including Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Missouri. Licenses for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses are covered by the compact.

Amy Korte, vice president of policy at Illinois Policy, offered the following statement:

“As Illinois faces a shortage of health care workers, the Illinois House should be commended for the efforts to remedy the situation and provide support nurses desperately need.

“Adding Illinois to the Nurse Licensure Compact can help alleviate the long shifts and exhaustion nurses have faced during the past year, while also opening up career and volunteer opportunities for Illinois nurses. The license has worked well for nearly three dozen other states, and Illinois has a lot to gain by joining.”

For bookings or interviews, contact media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977.