As the nursing shortage accelerates, many states are recognizing the need to facilitate relocation and nursing license reciprocity. Telenurses face these same issues and the challenge of providing care patients outside the state in which the nurse holds licensure.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (http://www.ncsbn.org) is lobbying for a nursing license that confers recognition among states, similar to that granted by a driver's license. Another example is the Nurse Licensure Compact, through which states mutually recognize nursing licenses from other states in the "compact." Some states have passed this, some are considering it, and some are not even ready to discuss this topic.
For the telephone nurse, this is a very difficult position to be in. Many nurses will obtain nursing licenses in many different states, to cover themselves when giving health information across states borders. This is a costly practice for the nurse and the organization, yet without proper licensure the nurse would be practicing outside the law.
Each telenurse must know how their licensing state has ruled on this topic. If a nurse is interested in voicing their opinion to their own law maker, please click on the link http://www.house.gov.
If you are ever in doubt about the safety or legality of your practice, notify your employer in writing and contact your governing agency, such as the State Nursing Board (http://www.ncsbn.org), your State Education Department, or an attorney who specializes in this type of law (i.e. http://www.carolstock.com or http://www.ctel.org).