Senate Bill 1053 - Nurse Licensure Compact

February 18, 2020


SB 1053 would enter California into the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), an interstate agreement that provides licensing reciprocity for Registered Nurses in California. As a member of the NLC, Nurses in other compact states (currently there are 34) would be eligible to practice nursing in California and California’s Nurses would likewise be eligible to practice in those states.

Issue Background:

Medical care providers are constantly adapting to a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected national healthcare system. California’s current framework for nurse licensure is based on an antiquated model in which nurses go to school, become licensed, and practice nursing in the same area throughout their entire career. This model has increasingly become an impediment to delivering the highest quality of care to California patients. Joining the Nurse Licensure Compact and allowing for nursing practice across state lines will reduce healthcare costs and expand access to care by brining much needed mobility and flexibility to the healthcare system.

There are many positive effects that joining the Nurse Licensure Compact could have. Specifically, SB 1053 has the potential to:

  • broaden the pool of nursing professionals eligible to work in California which would help solve the nursing shortage our state is facing and increase access to specialized nursing professionals licensed in other states.
  • would reduce costs for nurses, hospitals, and interstate healthcare systems by easing the administrative and financial burdens associated with multi-state practice.
  • improve educational opportunities in the nursing field as virtual education and visiting instructors could be utilized as part of nursing curriculum. California’s nursing students would also have more opportunities once licensed.
  • modernize the medical care delivery system in California by allowing for greater access to tele-health—which is increasingly important in California’s underserved communities.
  • benefit military spouses and other transitory professionals that could practice nursing immediately rather than waiting months to gain a full California nursing license.
  • provide a pathway for out-of-state nurses to come treat victims in the event of a devastating natural disaster.
  • give California a seat at the table in determining the future of the NLC. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Commerce have made it clear that licensing reciprocity is the way of the future. SB 1053 would allow California to shape how the compact operates moving forward.



Hospitals could face severe shortages of nurses, beds and blood. How California is responding

“If the state’s nurses are inundated by infection or a crush of patients, help is unlikely to come from another state. California is one of 16 states that does not have a nurse licensure compact agreement in place, an idea opposed by the nurses union. The accord allows nurses from other states to work in hospitals during emergencies when the existing workforce is strained.

The lack of an agreement was one of the reasons the state’s preparedness for a public health emergency was ranked in the “middle tier” by the group Trust for America’s Health, along with Arizona, Florida and Texas. The report said California also had one of the lowest shares — about 70 percent — of hospitals that are members of coalition groups that allow them to share resources.”

Coronavirus shows government is a problem, not the solution

“Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, has introduced Senate Bill 1053, which would include our state in a 34-state nursing compact. It’s a sensible reform, especially in these dire times. If the Legislature were serious about assuring that we have enough trained staff to deal with coronavirus patients, they ought to pass this measure as soon as possible. Remember this when you hear lawmakers complain about health-care shortages.”

Your questions answered about California’s ‘lockdown’: Will CA be waiving licensing so RNs like myself can help out with coronavirus?

“I am an RN in FL compact state and have a NY license. Will you guys be waiving CA license or fast tracking applications, so other RNs like myself can help out with coronavirus?

There’s a shortage of frontline healthcare workers, and it’s not an even spread. States like California were already enduring a shortage of doctors before the pandemic. In response, 34 states entered into the Nursing Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to practice one-on-one nursing or telemedicine across state lines. California isn’t one of them — actually, no states on the West Coast have entered into the compact. The Legislature is considering it in a bill, SB 1053, introduced in committee on Feb. 18, that would have made California the 35th state in the compact. Similar bills are pending in seven other states. “

California State Senator John Moorlach asks Governor Newsom to allow new nurses to graduate on time

“For this legislative session, I have worked diligently on a piece of legislation, SB 1053, which would ease barriers for out-of-state nurses seeking to practice in California. With that bill, and this effort, I remain focused on ensuring that access to care is not compromised by a lack of nursing professionals.”

Senate Democrats Kill Sen. Moorlach’s Proposal to Include California in a 34 State Nursing Compact

“The two measures would have joined California into the Nurse and Physical Therapy Licensure Compacts. “I am deeply disappointed with this decision as five Democrats lack the vision to improve healthcare for Californians in need. SB 1053 would have been a huge step forward in preparing for future surges in COVID-19 and other potential emergencies,” Sen. Moorlach said in a press statement. “In addition, SB 1053 and SB 1054 would have greatly eased barriers for military spouses, increased access to tele-health in underserved communities, and reduced costs in our healthcare system. I am committed to continuing this fight for mobility and flexibility in California’s healthcare system.”

Senate Democrats kill Moorlach proposal to increase access to medical care providers

“Moorlach’s legislation garnered the support of a broad and diverse coalition of stakeholders, including the California Hospital Association, the California Physical Therapists Association, the California Association of Health Facilities, the United States Department of Defense, the AARP, and the California Telehealth Network. SB 1054 (Physical Therapy) did not receive any formal opposition and SB 1053 (Nursing) only received formal opposition from the California Nurses Association. Nonetheless, five Democrats on the committee voted to oppose both measures.”

Let’s bring more nurses to California

“Nurses are the critical link in California’s health-care system. And we don’t have enough of them. That’s why we need Senate Bill 1053, by state Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, which would make California the 35th state to enter into the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. Then high-quality nurses could quickly relocate from other states to treat patients in California. And underserved patients could use telehealth to consult with medical professionals in other states.”

This Act Helps Us Prepare for the Next Outbreak

“One potential improvement is enacting the “Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact” in California, as proposed by Senate Bill 1053 (John Moorlach). As a registered nurse case manager, my job is to oversee patient care throughout the entire treatment process. Case managers follow the patient wherever they go in order to ensure there is no lapse in care. My colleagues in states that have adopted the NLC can follow their patient’s care needs across state lines.”

A plea for the Nurse Licensure Compact

“We have all witnessed the chaos which has enveloped healthcare facilities as they try to respond to such an unprecedented calamity. State governments have been critically challenged with developing measures to ensure public health and safety. A vital tool to help California respond to healthcare needs is the enactment of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) legislation, SB 1053 by Senator John Moorlach.”


Ryan Gardiner, (916) 651-4037