“I am originally from the Chicago area, and I went to Saint Louis University for nursing school and graduated in 2017 with the intention of returning to work in Chicago.”

“I spent a couple of years as a telemetry nurse and then transferred to Rush University Medical Center. I was an ICU nurse for two years.”

“Last spring, I received a lot of experience working with patients with severe COVID-19 cases and learned a lot through that experience. So recently I decided to take my skills to other hospitals in other states to practice and to travel along with my practice.”

“The compact license could help afford me the opportunity to contribute to fighting the pandemic and sharing my skills and knowledge at other hospitals without the headache of obtaining new licenses for every different state I travel to.”

“I also spend a lot of time volunteering at Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services, which is a camp for kids with cancer based out of the Chicago area.”

“We travel with the kids to camp programs, some of which are out of state in Wisconsin and Utah. As a nurse volunteering for their programs, I recently had to apply for licenses in those other states to be able to volunteer as a nurse with them. So, compact licensing can also make volunteer work and giving back to the community outside of Illinois more accessible for me, too.”

“I think that 34 states now already joined. So that’s awesome. So many more states are getting involved because of the pandemic. And maybe we can get everybody involved in it to have just one license for the whole United States.”

“Currently, I am at a hospital in Huntington Beach and I had to apply for a California temporary license to be able to help fight the pandemic here. The temporary license only took a few days to get, and that was the only option with travel nursing for right now, because otherwise it would have taken over three months, I believe, to get the permanent California license, which just would not work out with the amount time that I wanted to be here.”

“With a lot of the travel contracts, especially faced with COVID-19 surges, facilities decide that they need extra nurses, and they need the nurses as soon as possible. So, waiting three months for licenses would not really work out for most of the critical situations.”

“The nurses here told me that they had a huge influx of COVID-19 patients, and for several weeks they couldn’t get any travel nurses because of licensing. Then their influx ended about the same week that all of the travel nurses arrived. So right now, we have way too many nurses and hardly any patients, and my contract has been cancelled early.”

“That’s just to show that the process of getting licenses is not really friendly to be able to maximize our care for patients and get nurses to the facilities that they need to be in a timely manner.”

Ali Conrad
Registered nurse
Chicago, Illinois