Multistate Nursing License, continued from page 1 near state lines where nurses may live in one state and work in another. When the question of whether to join eNLC first rose, the Alabama Board of Nursing couldn’t yet recommend it because many aspects of membership were yet to be defined. Now that guidelines and responsibilities are clear, benefits known, and a plan in place for covering expenses without increasing costs to nurses who choose an Alabama-only license, the board is giving the legislation its full support. “We are the only southeastern state that hasn’t yet joined the compact,” Alabama Board of Nursing Executive Officer Peggy Sellers Benson, RN, MSHA, MSN,
NE-BC said. “Membership would benefit both our nurses and our communities. “Nurses will be able to choose the license that best fits their career plans. Those who choose a Compact license will be able to practice in person and participate in telemedicine nursing in other member states. Nurse educators will be able to teach students in multiple states without having to purchase multiple licenses.” In addition to addressing local nursing shortages, the compact license would help to facilitate additional nursing support in disaster recovery. Consistent nursing standards required to qualify for a Compact license would also protect quality of care
for patients. “Nurses who are in military families or whose spouses are likely to be transferred will be able to seamlessly seek employment in any member state without having to obtain another license,” Benson said. Under Compact rules, nurses will apply for a multistate license in their home state. The Alabama Board of Nursing will be able to quickly verify licenses and backgrounds to expedite new hires for employers. As of now, Compact licenses will not be available for advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners and nurse midwives, as requirements and scope of practice regulations vary so widely from state to
CEO Tim Puthoff Joins Brookwood, continued from page 1 over the years, and I was excited for the opportunity to help lead a system that has such a prevalent role in the market,” he says. Puthoff plans to employ strategies specific to Brookwood Baptist and Tenet, but he will first take time to identify the needs of the health system. “It’s a bit early to talk about strategies because I am still learning about the organization,” he says. “Overall, I think we will continue to develop our primary care base. We have opportunities with the neurosciences, and we can be a leader in stroke care in the Birmingham area. I want us to continue to improve what I think is already the leading cardiovascular services in the city at Brookwood, Princeton and Shelby. I am excited about further development of that service line.” Infrastructure improvements are also on Puthoff’s list. “We are investing $80 million in our facilities which includes new equipment and renovations. We will see a lot of noticeable improvements in the Brookwood facility and other hospitals in the system,” he says. Projects nearing completion at Brookwood Baptist include the addition of a new
state-of-the-art electrophysiology lab, new linear accelerator for advanced cancer treatment, new 3T MRI, expansion of the hospital’s sterile processing area and renovations to the hospital lobby. Upcoming projects include the purchase of three new cardiac catheterization labs, expansion and renovation of the GI procedure area and a fully-renovated orthopedic and neurology patient floor. Adding to its capital investments and touching on Puthoff’s desire to be a leader in stroke care in Birmingham, Brookwood along with Shelby, Princeton and the Brookwood Freestanding Emergency Department recently deployed the RAPID imaging platform from iSchemaView, bringing the most advanced brain imaging software platform for identifying treatment options for stroke patients. RAPID is a new class of automated brain imaging software that allows doctors to quickly visualize reductions in blood flow to the brain and early signs of brain injury. “We are also working with our marketing and public relations staffs in an effort to be a more visible part of the Birmingham community from both a patient and pro-
vider standpoint,” Puthoff said. “We want people to know the Brookwood system and the great things we are doing in our hospitals.” Healthgrades, a leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, has already recognized the Brookwood system’s accomplishments. It recently acknowledged Brookwood Baptist Medical Center’s excellence in Healthgrade’s 2019 Report to the Nation as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for orthopedic surgery and spine surgery. Brookwood Baptist Medical Center is the only hospital in Alabama to be recognized in both surgical categories for 2019. “There is a lot to be proud of at Brookwood,” Puthoff says. “Our patient satisfaction and overall quality scores are outstanding, and we will continue to work to improve in these areas. The care that is delivered in our organization is second to none in Birmingham, and we have a wonderful staff and a dedicated group of doctors. My priority is to build on the strong foundation we already have and to help grow our health system in the years to come.”
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state. These will need to be standardized before a multistate license will be available for these nursing specialties. Alabama-based travel nurse (name) is definitely looking forward to the new license that will allow her to practice in more than 30 states. Passage of this legislation by both houses of the legislature is expected to occur shortly. Any changes in status that occur after this issue goes to press and before the next issue will be updated in our online edition at www. BirminghamMedicalNews.com.
HB44/SB38 Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) Current law: • The Alabama Board of Nursing is not a party to the eNLC, and issues only single-state licenses. • 31 states currently participate in the eNLC. • Alabama is the only state in the Southeast not in the eNLC. Challenges under current law: • Employers report difficulty hiring travel or temporary nurses, due to unwillingness to obtain an Alabama license. • Rural hospitals have difficulty hiring nurses. • Alabama nurses report difficulty accepting out of state work, as they may not hold the proper license. • Alabama nurse educators must hold multiple state licenses, if they teach out-of-state students. HB44/SB38 would: • Enact the Nurse Licensure Compact, while protecting Alabama nurses. • Allow Alabama nurses to choose to have either a Compact or an Alabama-only license. • Allow hospitals to rapidly place travel nurses who hold a Compact license. • Allow nurses to easily transition across state lines to work flex positions in Alabama hospitals. Benefits • Expands access to nursing services in Alabama. • Enables nurses to provide telehealth services to patients across the country without having to obtain additional licenses. • Allows nurses to cross state borders and provide services in the event of a natural disaster. • Allows military spouse nurses to continue working, without having to obtain a new license when they relocate. • Facilitates online nursing education by reducing educators’ need for multiple licenses. • The eNLC also removes a burdensome expense for organizations that employ nurses and may bear the burden of multiple licenses.
Birmingham Medical News April 2019