Laurel Reutter

Laurel Reutter

“I live 100 miles south of Chicago. It’s a town called Cissna Park, a small rural community. I’m 69 and I like doing things with my family.

“I help coordinate grandkid schedules. So it’s good to have a job that I can do from home, be more flexible but still be challenged in my career.”

“There are so many remote nursing telehealth positions, you know, it’s a great time to be a nurse in that area with experience. I have pharmaceutical and nursing experience. So I have some things that companies might want but I don’t have the right license.”

“The Nurse Licensure Compact is an agreement between states to recognize licenses for nurses from another compact state. Only 12 states aren’t in the compact, and Illinois is one of them, so Illinois nurses can only practice in Illinois.”

“I was applying for jobs and it went on forever, not hearing back from different applications and so forth. I contacted the Illinois Nurses Association, because people kept telling me I don’t have the right license. Then someone told me in January of 2023 lawmakers were considering joining the Nurses Licensure Compact.”

“At the time I had a remote position at a company that makes computerized pill dispensers. It fit with my schedule, but it wasn’t nursing so I thought I’ll just come to that eventually.”

“But then in April they dissolved my entire department. Now I’m going back looking for remote positions again, and I’m running into the same issue.”

“It was an eye-opening moment for me when I got through most of the interview process and was interviewing with several of the nursing executives. They were talking about the daily caseload for the job and the different states and all of a sudden one of them said, ‘Where’s your license?’ They were the ones who said my license is going to restrict me.”

“Then it dawned on me, I filled out these different applications on Indeed and Zip Recruiter but in their description, it mentioned compact license, and I don’t have that. It made sense I never heard back because Illinois is not a compact state. I’m whistling in the wind and trying to figure out if I am eligible for these positions.”

“They can’t just give you only Illinois patients, they hire people who are licensed in multiple states. There are groups that will help you get licensed in an additional five states but it’s very expensive and time consuming.”

“I don’t know why lawmakers wouldn’t want us in the compact, or why the Illinois Nurses Association is against it. I would imagine it has something to do with money, but I just don’t know.”

“I hope lawmakers change their mind and join the compact. I would assume there’s a lot of me out there who want to work in telehealth. We’re at a disadvantage compared to people in other states.”

Laurel Reutter

Former nurse

Cissna Park, Illinois

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