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New Law Establishes Nurse Licensure Compact

Nurse Compact Licensure will improve the retention and recruitment of nurses to the Virgin Islands. (source photo)

AARP in The Virgin Islands supported the passage of Bill No. 34-0040, an act to establish the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) to create a Multistate Nursing License in the Virgin Islands. It was approved by the Health, Hospitals and Human Services Committee and the Committee on Rules and Judiciary earlier in the year. It was signed into law by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. on Dec. 6.

AARP thanks the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kurt Vialet. It also thanks the members of the Health, Hospitals and Human Services Committee, the V.I. Legislature and all those who made the passage of the bill possible.

Bill No. 34-0040 will allow for Nurse Compact Licensure to improve the retention and recruitment of nurses to the Virgin Islands, ultimately increasing access to healthcare. Enacting the bill will attract more health care professionals to the territory, which will address nurse shortages and allow nurses to practice in other Nurse Licensure Compact states or territories without obtaining additional licenses.

The territory continues to need more nurses at its hospitals, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the nurses already at the hospital have had to work additional long hours to fill in the void of the open positions. Bill 34-0040 will provide for accepting nurses from states that are also involved in the Nurse Licensure Compact more quickly without getting re-licensed.

Interest from qualified professionals who want to work in the Virgin Islands will increase. Native Virgin Islands nurses working in the U.S. mainland will have the opportunity to obtain employment and return to the territory.

AARP in The Virgin Islands continues to make the Virgin Islands a livable community for older adults and residents of all ages.  Health Services and Community Support is one of the ‘Eight Domains of Livability,’ a framework used by many towns, cities, counties and states enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. Under this domain, AARP works for residents to access and afford the services required to stay healthy. As AARP in The Virgin Islands works to increase access to healthcare, its support of passage of this bill was essential.

To learn more about how AARP in The Virgin Islands advocates for AARP members and Virgin Islanders, visit www.aarp.org/vi or AARP Virgin Islands on Facebook at Facebook.com/aarpvi or Facebook.com/aarpviespanol for information in Spanish.

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