Wednesday, August 1, 2007

More Good Questions From the Board of Nursing Meeting

There were many good questions and issues that were brought up at the Board of Nursing meeting on July 26th that I was not able to fully address at the meeting, so I will attempt to do so here.

Isn't Mississippi a Compact State?

I think what they mean is: does Mississippi participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)? The NLC allows nurses who hold a license in the state that they reside in to practice nursing in another state without getting a second license; as long as both states participate in the NLC. Since Wisconsin and Mississippi both participate in the NLC and I hold a valid Wisconsin nursing license, I would be able to practice nursing in Mississippi if I were still a Wisconsin resident.

Most of the people who make use of the NLC live near the border between two states: they live in one state but commute to a job in another state. Since Mississippi and Wisconsin do not border each other, I don't think anyone would believe that I actually still live in Wisconsin and commute to a job in Mississippi. This means that even though Wisconsin and Mississippi both participate in the NLC and I have a Wisconsin nursing license, since my permanent residence at this time is Mississippi I will need to get a Mississippi nursing license to practice nursing here.

There is a program just like Marquette's Direct Entry program in Tennessee, and Wisconsin accepts RN's from their program.

It is true that Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee has a program very similar to Marquette's Direct Entry program. Students in Vanderbilt's program do not get a degree or diploma at the end of the pre-MSN portion of the program and are still able to become RNs in Tennessee at that time.

The difference is the Tennessee Nurse Practice Act. The Tennessee Nurse Practice Act does not specifically require graduation from a school of nursing in order to become licensed as an RN in that state: so it is perfectly fine for them to run their program in this way and to still have their students become legally eligible for licensure. The Wisconsin Nurse Practice Act does specifically require a "diploma of graduation" in order to become licensed as a nurse in Wisconsin: so if Marquette wants its Direct Entry students to become licensed as RN's in Wisconsin at the end of the pre-MSN portion of the program they must supply their students with a "diploma of graduation" at that time.

I did a whole post on this very issue back in February.