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updated: 5/4/2011 6:23 PM

Nurses hope for more lenient licensing

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Daily Herald staff report

SPRINGFIELD -- Two suburban lawmakers led a group of nurses and medical professionals Wednesday in Springfield urging Illinois to join a national group that would allow nurses to practice freely across state lines.

Sen. Pam Althoff, a McHenry Republican, and Rep. Sandra Pihos, a Glen Ellyn Republican, said joining the Nurse Licensure Compact would allow nurses from Illinois and other states to offer care more easily in person or by remote technology to people across the border. There are currently 24 states in the compact, which waives the requirement to be licensed in individual states.

"Having the Nursing Licensure Compact here in Illinois is a vital component to the delivery of quality health care in an age in which technology and tele-nursing has expanded and become an essential component," Pihos said.

Enrolling in the compact could make delivering services easier for agencies such as the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. The center conducts blood drives in Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin -- which are part of the compact -- so Illinois' enrollment would mean nurses would no longer have to worry about licensing.