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PRINTER'S NO. 473
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
115
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY BOSCOLA, COLLETT, J. WARD, COSTA, FONTANA, MUTH,
GORDNER, BARTOLOTTA, SCAVELLO, MARTIN, KEARNEY, TARTAGLIONE,
BAKER AND STEFANO, MARCH 22, 2021
REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE,
MARCH 22, 2021
AN ACT
Making the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a party to the Nurse
Licensure Compact; and providing for the form of the compact.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Nurse
Licensure Compact Act.
Section 2. Nurse Licensure Compact.
The Nurse Licensure Compact is enacted into law and entered
into by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with all other states
legally joining in the compact in the form substantially as
follows:
ARTICLE I
Findings and Declaration of Purpose
a. The party states find that:
1. The health and safety of the public are affected by
the degree of compliance with and the effectiveness of
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enforcement activities related to state nurse licensure laws;
2. Violations of nurse licensure and other laws
regulating the practice of nursing may result in injury or
harm to the public;
3. The expanded mobility of nurses and the use of
advanced communication technologies as part of our nation's
health care delivery system require greater coordination and
cooperation among states in the areas of nurse licensure and
regulation;
4. New practice modalities and technology make
compliance with individual state nurse licensure laws
difficult and complex;
5. The current system of duplicative licensure for
nurses practicing in multiple states is cumbersome and
redundant for both nurses and states; and
6. Uniformity of nurse licensure requirements throughout
the states promotes public safety and public health benefits.
b. The general purposes of this Compact are to:
1. Facilitate the states' responsibility to protect the
public's health and safety;
2. Ensure and encourage the cooperation of party states
in the areas of nurse licensure and regulation;
3. Facilitate the exchange of information between party
states in the areas of nurse regulation, investigation and
adverse actions;
4. Promote compliance with the laws governing the
practice of nursing in each jurisdiction;
5. Invest all party states with the authority to hold a
nurse accountable for meeting all state practice laws in the
state in which the patient is located at the time care is
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rendered through the mutual recognition of party state
licenses;
6. Decrease redundancies in the consideration and
issuance of nurse licenses; and
7. Provide opportunities for interstate practice by
nurses who meet uniform licensure requirements.
ARTICLE II
Definitions
As used in this Compact:
a. "Adverse action" means any administrative, civil,
equitable or criminal action permitted by a state's laws which
is imposed by a licensing board or other authority against a
nurse, including actions against an individual's license or
multistate licensure privilege such as revocation, suspension,
probation, monitoring of the licensee, limitation on the
licensee's practice, or any other encumbrance on licensure
affecting a nurse's authorization to practice, including
issuance of a cease and desist action.
b. "Alternative program" means a non-disciplinary monitoring
program approved by a licensing board.
c. "Coordinated licensure information system" means an
integrated process for collecting, storing and sharing
information on nurse licensure and enforcement activities
related to nurse licensure laws that is administered by a
nonprofit organization composed of and controlled by licensing
boards.
d. "Current significant investigative information" means:
1. Investigative information that a licensing board,
after a preliminary inquiry that includes notification and an
opportunity for the nurse to respond, if required by state
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law, has reason to believe is not groundless and, if proved
true, would indicate more than a minor infraction; or
2. Investigative information that indicates that the
nurse represents an immediate threat to public health and
safety regardless of whether the nurse has been notified and
had an opportunity to respond.
e. "Encumbrance" means a revocation or suspension of, or any
limitation on, the full and unrestricted practice of nursing
imposed by a licensing board.
f. "Home state" means the party state which is the nurse's
primary state of residence.
g. "Licensing board" means a party state's regulatory body
responsible for issuing nurse licenses.
h. "Multistate license" means a license to practice as a
registered or a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/VN)
issued by a home state licensing board that authorizes the
licensed nurse to practice in all party states under a
multistate licensure privilege.
i. "Multistate licensure privilege" means a legal
authorization associated with a multistate license permitting
the practice of nursing as either a registered nurse (RN) or
LPN/VN in a remote state.
j. "Nurse" means RN or LPN/VN, as those terms are defined by
each party state's practice laws.
k. "Party state" means any state that has adopted this
Compact.
l. "Remote state" means a party state, other than the home
state.
m. "Single-state license" means a nurse license issued by a
party state that authorizes practice only within the issuing
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state and does not include a multistate licensure privilege to
practice in any other party state.
n. "State" means a state, territory or possession of the
United States and the District of Columbia.
o. "State practice laws" means a party state's laws, rules
and regulations that govern the practice of nursing, define the
scope of nursing practice, and create the methods and grounds
for imposing discipline. "State practice laws" do not include
requirements necessary to obtain and retain a license, except
for qualifications or requirements of the home state.
ARTICLE III
General Provisions and Jurisdiction
a. A multistate license to practice registered or licensed
practical/vocational nursing issued by a home state to a
resident in that state will be recognized by each party state as
authorizing a nurse to practice as a registered nurse (RN) or as
a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/VN), under a
multistate licensure privilege, in each party state.
b. A state must implement procedures for considering the
criminal history records of applicants for initial multistate
license or licensure by endorsement. Such procedures shall
include the submission of fingerprints or other biometric-based
information by applicants for the purpose of obtaining an
applicant's criminal history record information from the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and the agency responsible for retaining
that state's criminal records.
c. Each party state shall require the following for an
applicant to obtain or retain a multistate license in the home
state:
1. Meets the home state's qualifications for licensure
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or renewal of licensure, as well as, all other applicable
state laws;
2. i. Has graduated or is eligible to graduate from a
licensing board-approved RN or LPN/VN prelicensure
education program; or
ii. Has graduated from a foreign RN or LPN/VN
prelicensure education program that (a) has been approved
by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable
country and (b) has been verified by an independent
credentials review agency to be comparable to a licensing
board-approved prelicensure education program;
3. Has, if a graduate of a foreign prelicensure
education program not taught in English or if English is not
the individual's native language, successfully passed an
English proficiency examination that includes the components
of reading, speaking, writing and listening;
4. Has successfully passed an NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN®
Examination or recognized predecessor, as applicable;
5. Is eligible for or holds an active, unencumbered
license;
6. Has submitted, in connection with an application for
initial licensure or licensure by endorsement or in
connection with an application for a multistate license under
this Compact, fingerprints or other biometric data for the
purpose of obtaining criminal history record information from
the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the agency
responsible for retaining that state's criminal records;
7. Has not been convicted or found guilty, or has
entered into an agreed disposition, of a felony offense under
applicable state or federal criminal law;
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8. Has not been convicted or found guilty, or has
entered into an agreed disposition, of a misdemeanor offense
related to the practice of nursing as determined on a case-
by-case basis;
9. Is not currently enrolled in an alternative program;
10. Is subject to self-disclosure requirements regarding
current participation in an alternative program; and
11. Has a valid United States Social Security number.
d. All party states shall be authorized, in accordance with
existing state due process law, to take adverse action against a
nurse's multistate licensure privilege such as revocation,
suspension, probation or any other action that affects a nurse's
authorization to practice under a multistate licensure
privilege, including cease and desist actions. If a party state
takes such action, it shall promptly notify the administrator of
the coordinated licensure information system. The administrator
of the coordinated licensure information system shall promptly
notify the home state of any such actions by remote states.
e. A nurse practicing in a party state must comply with the
state practice laws of the state in which the client is located
at the time service is provided. The practice of nursing is not
limited to patient care, but shall include all nursing practice
as defined by the state practice laws of the party state in
which the client is located. The practice of nursing in a party
state under a multistate licensure privilege will subject a
nurse to the jurisdiction of the licensing board, the courts and
the laws of the party state in which the client is located at
the time service is provided.
f. Individuals not residing in a party state shall continue
to be able to apply for a party state's single-state license as
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provided under the laws of each party state. However, the
single-state license granted to these individuals will not be
recognized as granting the privilege to practice nursing in any
other party state. Nothing in this Compact shall affect the
requirements established by a party state for the issuance of a
single-state license.
g. Any nurse holding a home state multistate license, on the
effective date of this Compact, may retain and renew the
multistate license issued by the nurse's then-current home
state, provided that:
1. A nurse, who changes primary state of residence after
this Compact's effective date, must meet all applicable
Article III.c. requirements to obtain a multistate license
from a new home state.
2. A nurse who fails to satisfy the multistate licensure
requirements in Article III.c. due to a disqualifying event
occurring after this Compact's effective date shall be
ineligible to retain or renew a multistate license, and the
nurse's multistate license shall be revoked or deactivated in
accordance with applicable rules adopted by the Interstate
Commission of Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators
("Commission").
ARTICLE IV
Applications for Licensure in a Party State
a. Upon application for a multistate license, the licensing
board in the issuing party state shall ascertain, through the
coordinated licensure information system, whether the applicant
has ever held, or is the holder of, a license issued by any
other state, whether there are any encumbrances on any license
or multistate licensure privilege held by the applicant, whether
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any adverse action has been taken against any license or
multistate licensure privilege held by the applicant and whether
the applicant is currently participating in an alternative
program.
b. A nurse may hold a multistate license, issued by the home
state, in only one party state at a time.
c. If a nurse changes primary state of residence by moving
between two party states, the nurse must apply for licensure in
the new home state, and the multistate license issued by the
prior home state will be deactivated in accordance with
applicable rules adopted by the Commission.
1. The nurse may apply for licensure in advance of a
change in primary state of residence.
2. A multistate license shall not be issued by the new
home state until the nurse provides satisfactory evidence of
a change in primary state of residence to the new home state
and satisfies all applicable requirements to obtain a
multistate license from the new home state.
d. If a nurse changes primary state of residence by moving
from a party state to a non-party state, the multistate license
issued by the prior home state will convert to a single-state
license, valid only in the former home state.
ARTICLE V
Additional Authorities Invested in Party State Licensing Boards
a. In addition to the other powers conferred by state law, a
licensing board shall have the authority to:
1. Take adverse action against a nurse's multistate
licensure privilege to practice within that party state.
i. Only the home state shall have the power to take
adverse action against a nurse's license issued by the
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home state.
ii. For purposes of taking adverse action, the home
state licensing board shall give the same priority and
effect to reported conduct received from a remote state
as it would if such conduct had occurred within the home
state. In so doing, the home state shall apply its own
state laws to determine appropriate action.
2. Issue cease and desist orders or impose an
encumbrance on a nurse's authority to practice within that
party state.
3. Complete any pending investigations of a nurse who
changes primary state of residence during the course of such
investigations. The licensing board shall also have the
authority to take appropriate action(s) and shall promptly
report the conclusions of such investigations to the
administrator of the coordinated licensure information
system. The administrator of the coordinated licensure
information system shall promptly notify the new home state
of any such actions.
4. Issue subpoenas for both hearings and investigations
that require the attendance and testimony of witnesses, as
well as, the production of evidence. Subpoenas issued by a
licensing board in a party state for the attendance and
testimony of witnesses or the production of evidence from
another party state shall be enforced in the latter state by
any court of competent jurisdiction, according to the
practice and procedure of that court applicable to subpoenas
issued in proceedings pending before it. The issuing
authority shall pay any witness fees, travel expenses,
mileage and other fees required by the service statutes of
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the state in which the witnesses or evidence are located.
5. Obtain and submit, for each nurse licensure
applicant, fingerprint or other biometric-based information
to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for criminal
background checks, receive the results of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation record search on criminal background checks
and use the results in making licensure decisions.
6. If otherwise permitted by state law, recover from the
affected nurse the costs of investigations and disposition of
cases resulting from any adverse action taken against that
nurse.
7. Take adverse action based on the factual findings of
the remote state, provided that the licensing board follows
its own procedures for taking such adverse action.
b. If adverse action is taken by the home state against a
nurse's multistate license, the nurse's multistate licensure
privilege to practice in all other party states shall be
deactivated until all encumbrances have been removed from the
multistate license. All home state disciplinary orders that
impose adverse action against a nurse's multistate license shall
include a statement that the nurse's multistate licensure
privilege is deactivated in all party states during the pendency
of the order.
c. Nothing in this Compact shall override a party state's
decision that participation in an alternative program may be
used in lieu of adverse action. The home state licensing board
shall deactivate the multistate licensure privilege under the
multistate license of any nurse for the duration of the nurse's
participation in an alternative program.
ARTICLE VI
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Coordinated Licensure Information System and Exchange of
Information
a. All party states shall participate in a coordinated
licensure information system of all licensed registered nurses
(RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs/VNs). This
system will include information on the licensure and
disciplinary history of each nurse, as submitted by party
states, to assist in the coordination of nurse licensure and
enforcement efforts.
b. The Commission, in consultation with the administrator of
the coordinated licensure information system, shall formulate
necessary and proper procedures for the identification,
collection and exchange of information under this Compact.
c. All licensing boards shall promptly report to the
coordinated licensure information system any adverse action, any
current significant investigative information, denials of
applications (with the reasons for such denials) and nurse
participation in alternative programs known to the licensing
board regardless of whether such participation is deemed
nonpublic or confidential under state law.
d. Current significant investigative information and
participation in nonpublic or confidential alternative programs
shall be transmitted through the coordinated licensure
information system only to party state licensing boards.
e. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all party
state licensing boards contributing information to the
coordinated licensure information system may designate
information that may not be shared with non-party states or
disclosed to other entities or individuals without the express
permission of the contributing state.
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f. Any personally identifiable information obtained from the
coordinated licensure information system by a party state
licensing board shall not be shared with non-party states or
disclosed to other entities or individuals except to the extent
permitted by the laws of the party state contributing the
information.
g. Any information contributed to the coordinated licensure
information system that is subsequently required to be expunged
by the laws of the party state contributing that information
shall also be expunged from the coordinated licensure
information system.
h. The Compact administrator of each party state shall
furnish a uniform data set to the Compact administrator of each
other party state, which shall include, at a minimum:
1. Identifying information;
2. Licensure data;
3. Information related to alternative program
participation; and
4. Other information that may facilitate the
administration of this Compact, as determined by Commission
rules.
i. The Compact administrator of a party state shall provide
all investigative documents and information requested by another
party state.
ARTICLE VII
Establishment of the Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure
Compact Administrators
a. The party states hereby create and establish a joint
public entity known as the Interstate Commission of Nurse
Licensure Compact Administrators.
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1. The Commission is an instrumentality of the party
states.
2. Venue is proper, and judicial proceedings by or
against the Commission shall be brought solely and
exclusively, in a court of competent jurisdiction where the
principal office of the Commission is located. The Commission
may waive venue and jurisdictional defenses to the extent it
adopts or consents to participate in alternative dispute
resolution proceedings.
3. Nothing in this Compact shall be construed to be a
waiver of sovereign immunity.
b. Membership, Voting and Meetings
1. Each party state shall have and be limited to one
administrator. The head of the state licensing board or
designee shall be the administrator of this Compact for each
party state. Any administrator may be removed or suspended
from office as provided by the law of the state from which
the Administrator is appointed. Any vacancy occurring in the
Commission shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the
party state in which the vacancy exists.
2. Each administrator shall be entitled to one (1) vote
with regard to the promulgation of rules and creation of
bylaws and shall otherwise have an opportunity to participate
in the business and affairs of the Commission. An
administrator shall vote in person or by such other means as
provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for an
administrator's participation in meetings by telephone or
other means of communication.
3. The Commission shall meet at least once during each
calendar year. Additional meetings shall be held as set forth
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in the bylaws or rules of the commission.
4. All meetings shall be open to the public, and public
notice of meetings shall be given in the same manner as
required under the rulemaking provisions in Article VIII.
5. The Commission may convene in a closed, nonpublic
meeting if the Commission must discuss:
i. Noncompliance of a party state with its
obligations under this Compact;
ii. The employment, compensation, discipline or
other personnel matters, practices or procedures related
to specific employees or other matters related to the
Commission's internal personnel practices and procedures;
iii. Current, threatened or reasonably anticipated
litigation;
iv. Negotiation of contracts for the purchase or
sale of goods, services or real estate;
v. Accusing any person of a crime or formally
censuring any person;
vi. Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or
financial information that is privileged or confidential;
vii. Disclosure of information of a personal nature
where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted
invasion of personal privacy;
viii. Disclosure of investigatory records compiled
for law enforcement purposes;
ix. Disclosure of information related to any reports
prepared by or on behalf of the Commission for the
purpose of investigation of compliance with this Compact;
or
x. Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by
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federal or state statute.
6. If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed
pursuant to this provision, the Commission's legal counsel or
designee shall certify that the meeting may be closed and
shall reference each relevant exempting provision. The
Commission shall keep minutes that fully and clearly describe
all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide a full
and accurate summary of actions taken, and the reasons
therefor, including a description of the views expressed. All
documents considered in connection with an action shall be
identified in such minutes. All minutes and documents of a
closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by
a majority vote of the Commission or order of a court of
competent jurisdiction.
c. The Commission shall, by a majority vote of the
administrators, prescribe bylaws or rules to govern its conduct
as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and
exercise the powers of this Compact, including but not limited
to:
1. Establishing the fiscal year of the Commission;
2. Providing reasonable standards and procedures:
i. For the establishment and meetings of other
committees; and
ii. Governing any general or specific delegation of
any authority or function of the Commission;
3. Providing reasonable procedures for calling and
conducting meetings of the Commission, ensuring reasonable
advance notice of all meetings and providing an opportunity
for attendance of such meetings by interested parties, with
enumerated exceptions designed to protect the public's
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interest, the privacy of individuals, and proprietary
information, including trade secrets. The Commission may meet
in closed session only after a majority of the administrators
vote to close a meeting in whole or in part. As soon as
practicable, the Commission must make public a copy of the
vote to close the meeting revealing the vote of each
administrator, with no proxy votes allowed;
4. Establishing the titles, duties and authority and
reasonable procedures for the election of the officers of the
Commission;
5. Providing reasonable standards and procedures for the
establishment of the personnel policies and programs of the
Commission. Notwithstanding any civil service or other
similar laws of any party state, the bylaws shall exclusively
govern the personnel policies and programs of the Commission;
and
6. Providing a mechanism for winding up the operations
of the Commission and the equitable disposition of any
surplus funds that may exist after the termination of this
Compact after the payment or reserving of all of its debts
and obligations.
d. The Commission shall publish its bylaws and rules, and
any amendments thereto, in a convenient form on the website of
the Commission.
e. The Commission shall maintain its financial records in
accordance with the bylaws.
f. The Commission shall meet and take such actions as are
consistent with the provisions of this Compact and the bylaws.
g. The Commission shall have the following powers:
1. To promulgate uniform rules to facilitate and
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coordinate implementation and administration of this Compact.
The rules shall have the force and effect of law and shall be
binding in all party states;
2. To bring and prosecute legal proceedings or actions
in the name of the Commission, provided that the standing of
any licensing board to sue or be sued under applicable law
shall not be affected;
3. To purchase and maintain insurance and bonds;
4. To borrow, accept or contract for services of
personnel, including, but not limited to, employees of a
party state or nonprofit organizations;
5. To cooperate with other organizations that administer
state compacts related to the regulation of nursing,
including but not limited to sharing administrative or staff
expenses, office space or other resources;
6. To hire employees, elect or appoint officers, fix
compensation, define duties, grant such individuals
appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of this
Compact, and to establish the Commission's personnel policies
and programs relating to conflicts of interest,
qualifications of personnel and other related personnel
matters;
7. To accept any and all appropriate donations, grants
and gifts of money, equipment, supplies, materials and
services, and to receive, utilize and dispose of the same;
provided that at all times the Commission shall avoid any
appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest;
8. To lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or
donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve or use, any
property, whether real, personal or mixed; provided that at
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all times the Commission shall avoid any appearance of
impropriety;
9. To sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange,
abandon or otherwise dispose of any property, whether real,
personal or mixed;
10. To establish a budget and make expenditures;
11. To borrow money;
12. To appoint committees, including advisory committees
comprised of administrators, state nursing regulators, state
legislators or their representatives, and consumer
representatives, and other such interested persons;
13. To provide and receive information from, and to
cooperate with, law enforcement agencies;
14. To adopt and use an official seal; and
15. To perform such other functions as may be necessary
or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this Compact
consistent with the state regulation of nurse licensure and
practice.
h. Financing of the Commission
1. The Commission shall pay, or provide for the payment
of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment,
organization and ongoing activities.
2. The Commission may also levy on and collect an annual
assessment from each party state to cover the cost of its
operations, activities and staff in its annual budget as
approved each year. The aggregate annual assessment amount,
if any, shall be allocated based upon a formula to be
determined by the Commission, which shall promulgate a rule
that is binding upon all party states.
3. The Commission shall not incur obligations of any
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kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same;
nor shall the Commission pledge the credit of any of the
party states, except by, and with the authority of, such
party state.
4. The Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all
receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of
the Commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting
procedures established under its bylaws. However, all
receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the Commission
shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public
accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in
and become part of the annual report of the Commission.
i. Qualified Immunity, Defense and Indemnification
1. The administrators, officers, executive director,
employees and representatives of the Commission shall be
immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their
official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of
property or personal injury or other civil liability caused
by or arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or
omission that occurred, or that the person against whom the
claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred,
within the scope of Commission employment, duties or
responsibilities; provided that nothing in this paragraph
shall be construed to protect any such person from suit or
liability for any damage, loss, injury or liability caused by
the intentional, willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
2. The Commission shall defend any administrator,
officer, executive director, employee or representative of
the Commission in any civil action seeking to impose
liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or
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omission that occurred within the scope of Commission
employment, duties or responsibilities, or that the person
against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for
believing occurred within the scope of Commission employment,
duties or responsibilities; provided that nothing herein
shall be construed to prohibit that person from retaining his
or her own counsel; and provided further that the actual or
alleged act, error or omission did not result from that
person's intentional, willful or wanton misconduct.
3. The Commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any
administrator, officer, executive director, employee or
representative of the Commission for the amount of any
settlement or judgment obtained against that person arising
out of any actual or alleged act, error or omission that
occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties or
responsibilities, or that such person had a reasonable basis
for believing occurred within the scope of Commission
employment, duties or responsibilities, provided that the
actual or alleged act, error or omission did not result from
the intentional, willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
ARTICLE VIII
Rulemaking
a. The Commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers
pursuant to the criteria set forth in this Article and the rules
adopted thereunder. Rules and amendments shall become binding as
of the date specified in each rule or amendment and shall have
the same force and effect as provisions of this Compact.
b. Rules or amendments to the rules shall be adopted at a
regular or special meeting of the Commission.
c. Prior to promulgation and adoption of a final rule or
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rules by the Commission, and at least sixty (60) days in advance
of the meeting at which the rule will be considered and voted
upon, the Commission shall file a notice of proposed rulemaking:
1. On the website of the Commission; and
2. On the website of each licensing board or the
publication in which each state would otherwise publish
proposed rules.
d. The notice of proposed rulemaking shall include:
1. The proposed time, date and location of the meeting
in which the rule will be considered and voted upon;
2. The text of the proposed rule or amendment, and the
reason for the proposed rule;
3. A request for comments on the proposed rule from any
interested person; and
4. The manner in which interested persons may submit
notice to the Commission of their intention to attend the
public hearing and any written comments.
e. Prior to adoption of a proposed rule, the Commission
shall allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions and
arguments, which shall be made available to the public.
f. The Commission shall grant an opportunity for a public
hearing before it adopts a rule or amendment.
g. The Commission shall publish the place, time and date of
the scheduled public hearing.
1. Hearings shall be conducted in a manner providing
each person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable
opportunity to comment orally or in writing. All hearings
will be recorded, and a copy will be made available upon
request.
2. Nothing in this section shall be construed as
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requiring a separate hearing on each rule. Rules may be
grouped for the convenience of the Commission at hearings
required by this section.
h. If no one appears at the public hearing, the Commission
may proceed with promulgation of the proposed rule.
i. Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close of
business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not
held, the Commission shall consider all written and oral
comments received.
j. The Commission shall, by majority vote of all
administrators, take final action on the proposed rule and shall
determine the effective date of the rule, if any, based on the
rulemaking record and the full text of the rule.
k. Upon determination that an emergency exists, the
Commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without
prior notice, opportunity for comment or hearing, provided that
the usual rulemaking procedures provided in this Compact and in
this section shall be retroactively applied to the rule as soon
as reasonably possible, in no event later than ninety (90) days
after the effective date of the rule. For the purposes of this
provision, an emergency rule is one that must be adopted
immediately in order to:
1. Meet an imminent threat to public health, safety or
welfare;
2. Prevent a loss of Commission or party state funds; or
3. Meet a deadline for the promulgation of an
administrative rule that is required by federal law or rule.
l. The Commission may direct revisions to a previously
adopted rule or amendment for purposes of correcting
typographical errors, errors in format, errors in consistency or
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grammatical errors. Public notice of any revisions shall be
posted on the website of the Commission. The revision shall be
subject to challenge by any person for a period of thirty (30)
days after posting. The revision may be challenged only on
grounds that the revision results in a material change to a
rule. A challenge shall be made in writing, and delivered to the
Commission, prior to the end of the notice period. If no
challenge is made, the revision will take effect without further
action. If the revision is challenged, the revision may not take
effect without the approval of the Commission.
ARTICLE IX
Oversight, Dispute Resolution and Enforcement
a. Oversight
1. Each party state shall enforce this Compact and take
all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate this
Compact's purposes and intent.
2. The Commission shall be entitled to receive service
of process in any proceeding that may affect the powers,
responsibilities or actions of the Commission, and shall have
standing to intervene in such a proceeding for all purposes.
Failure to provide service of process in such proceeding to
the Commission shall render a judgment or order void as to
the Commission, this Compact or promulgated rules.
b. Default, Technical Assistance and Termination
1. If the Commission determines that a party state has
defaulted in the performance of its obligations or
responsibilities under this Compact or the promulgated rules,
the Commission shall:
i. Provide written notice to the defaulting state
and other party states of the nature of the default, the
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proposed means of curing the default or any other action
to be taken by the Commission; and
ii. Provide remedial training and specific technical
assistance regarding the default.
2. If a state in default fails to cure the default, the
defaulting state's membership in this Compact may be
terminated upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the
administrators, and all rights, privileges and benefits
conferred by this Compact may be terminated on the effective
date of termination. A cure of the default does not relieve
the offending state of obligations or liabilities incurred
during the period of default.
3. Termination of membership in this Compact shall be
imposed only after all other means of securing compliance
have been exhausted. Notice of intent to suspend or terminate
shall be given by the Commission to the governor of the
defaulting state and to the executive officer of the
defaulting state's licensing board and each of the party
states.
4. A state whose membership in this Compact has been
terminated is responsible for all assessments, obligations
and liabilities incurred through the effective date of
termination, including obligations that extend beyond the
effective date of termination.
5. The Commission shall not bear any costs related to a
state that is found to be in default or whose membership in
this Compact has been terminated unless agreed upon in
writing between the Commission and the defaulting state.
6. The defaulting state may appeal the action of the
Commission by petitioning the U.S. District Court for the
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District of Columbia or the federal district in which the
Commission has its principal offices. The prevailing party
shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including
reasonable attorneys' fees.
c. Dispute Resolution
1. Upon request by a party state, the Commission shall
attempt to resolve disputes related to the Compact that arise
among party states and between party and non-party states.
2. The Commission shall promulgate a rule providing for
both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes,
as appropriate.
3. In the event the Commission cannot resolve disputes
among party states arising under this Compact:
i. The party states may submit the issues in dispute
to an arbitration panel, which will be comprised of
individuals appointed by the Compact administrator in
each of the affected party states and an individual
mutually agreed upon by the Compact administrators of all
the party states involved in the dispute.
ii. The decision of a majority of the arbitrators
shall be final and binding.
d. Enforcement
1. The Commission, in the reasonable exercise of its
discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this
Compact.
2. By majority vote, the Commission may initiate legal
action in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia or the federal district in which the Commission has
its principal offices against a party state that is in
default to enforce compliance with the provisions of this
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Compact and its promulgated rules and bylaws. The relief
sought may include both injunctive relief and damages. In the
event judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing party
shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including
reasonable attorneys' fees.
3. The remedies herein shall not be the exclusive
remedies of the Commission. The Commission may pursue any
other remedies available under federal or state law.
ARTICLE X
Effective Date, Withdrawal and Amendment
a. This Compact shall become effective and binding on the
earlier of the date of legislative enactment of this Compact
into law by no less than twenty-six (26) states or December 31,
2018. All party states to this Compact, that also were parties
to the prior Nurse Licensure Compact, superseded by this
Compact, ("Prior Compact"), shall be deemed to have withdrawn
from said Prior Compact within six (6) months after the
effective date of this Compact.
b. Each party state to this Compact shall continue to
recognize a nurse's multistate licensure privilege to practice
in that party state issued under the Prior Compact until such
party state has withdrawn from the Prior Compact.
c. Any party state may withdraw from this Compact by
enacting a statute repealing the same. A party state's
withdrawal shall not take effect until six (6) months after
enactment of the repealing statute.
d. A party state's withdrawal or termination shall not
affect the continuing requirement of the withdrawing or
terminated state's licensing board to report adverse actions and
significant investigations occurring prior to the effective date
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of such withdrawal or termination.
e. Nothing contained in this Compact shall be construed to
invalidate or prevent any nurse licensure agreement or other
cooperative arrangement between a party state and a non-party
state that is made in accordance with the other provisions of
this Compact.
f. This Compact may be amended by the party states. No
amendment to this Compact shall become effective and binding
upon the party states unless and until it is enacted into the
laws of all party states.
g. Representatives of non-party states to this Compact shall
be invited to participate in the activities of the Commission,
on a nonvoting basis, prior to the adoption of this Compact by
all states.
ARTICLE XI
Construction and Severability
This Compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate
the purposes thereof. The provisions of this Compact shall be
severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of
this Compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of
any party state or of the United States, or if the applicability
thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is
held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this Compact and
the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or
circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this Compact
shall be held to be contrary to the constitution of any party
state, this Compact shall remain in full force and effect as to
the remaining party states and in full force and effect as to
the party state affected as to all severable matters.
Section 3. Compensation and expenses of compact administrator.
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The compact administrator who represents this Commonwealth,
as provided in the compact, shall not be entitled to any
additional compensation for his duties and responsibilities as
compact administrator but shall be entitled to reimbursement for
reasonable expenses actually incurred in connection with his
duties and responsibilities as compact administrator in the same
manner as for expenses incurred in connection with other duties
and responsibilities of the compact administrator's office or
employment.
Section 4. Criminal background checks for multistate license
applicants.
(a) General rule.--For the purpose of administering the
criminal history background check required under Article V of
the compact, the Department of State shall require a nurse
licensed in this Commonwealth or a practical/vocational nurse
licensed in this Commonwealth who resides in this Commonwealth
to apply for a multistate license under the compact and to
submit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation a national
criminal history background check.
(b) Submission.--In addition to the requirement under
subsection (a), an applicant shall submit a set of fingerprints
and other identifying information to the Pennsylvania State
Police or its designee. The Pennsylvania State Police or its
designee shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation for a national criminal history background check.
(c) Use of criminal history information.--Criminal history
information under this section shall be interpreted and used by
the Department of State solely to determine an applicant's
eligibility for the issuance of a multistate license. The
Department of State shall not disseminate the criminal history
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information to the Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure
Compact Administrators. The criminal history information under
this subsection shall be exempt from the limitations under 18
Pa.C.S. § 9121(b)(2) (relating to general regulations).
Section 5. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.
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