Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards recently signed the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, as well as the Nurse Licensure Compact, into law June 1.

By doing so, the Louisiana legislature has made it easier for out-of-state physical therapy and nursing licenses to be transferrable into the state.

“When someone moves to Louisiana or to another state from Louisiana, they don’t have to do their licensure all over again,” explains Senator Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City), who spearheaded both the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact and the Nurse Licensure Compact, in a news story posted on BPT Online.

“With the database and background check they’ve already done, their license is much more portable when moving from state to state,” he adds.

Peacock stresses in the news story, however, that the governor’s signature does not give up the state’s sovereign immunity.

“These bills have nothing to do with scope of practice for our physical therapists or nurses,” Peacock states. “It simply gives portability to their license from state to state.”

A benefit of the new legislation is especially beneficial to nurses and physical therapists who are military dependents, as it permits them to secure employment rapidly after moving to duty stations in Louisiana, the story continues.

“This is extremely important with our military spouses not only here at Barksdale Air Force Base, but at Fort Polk and Belle Chasse,” Peacock adds. “It’s not limited to just the military, though. This will benefit all Louisiana citizens.”

Shellie Neuman, a registered nurse and Air Force spouse, testified before the Louisiana State Senate to advocate for these licensure compacts after she experienced firsthand the cumbersome bureaucratic process to continue pursuing her passion, according to a news article from Barksdale Air Force Base noted in the BPT Online story.

“More spouses are going to start working because they won’t have the costs associated with transferring their license to a new state, which can be very expensive,” Neuman says. “Plus they can start working right away; there’s no waiting period.”

It will also bring in more out-of-state nurses and physical therapists, broadening the scope of medical services available to the public.

[Source: BPT Online]