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.



Ryan Gardiner, (916) 651-4037