Currently, the Nursing Licensure Compact and Multi State Nursing license only apply to Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). Since 2002, the APRN Compact was proposed to allow APRNs to hold multi-state licenses to practice in specific Compact States. APRNs stand for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives. These are certified nurses who hold master’s or doctor’s degrees in a specific focused nursing field. Sometimes, medical professionals will call APRN as APN (Advanced Practice Nurses) or APRN Compact as APN Compact for short. All CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) are considered APRNs. Some CRNAs have also referred to the APRN Compact for CRNA Compact for relevance.
After many iterations, the NCSBN updated the most recent Compact on August 2020. It had 11 articles covering 21 pages. To be implemented, a minimum of seven US States must approve the APRN Compact State legislation. To clarify, only US states that have adopted the current Nurse Licensure Compact may implement a compact for APRNs. As of October 2020, no US States had pending APRN Compact legislation and no US States have enacted the legislation. Therefore, the APRN Compact is still just a proposal and has not been executed. This applies to CRNAs. With that in mind, there is currently no CRNA Compact in place.
APN Compact Advantages
The many advantages of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse compact will benefit different parties. However, there are two main benefits.
First, APRNs will have more more flexibility to work and move freely in the APN Compact States. This opens more opportunities and options for APNs. Currently, many States face shortages of certain APRNs, such as CRNAs.
Second, for the general public, the Advanced Practice Nurses Compact allows all APNs to respond quickly in events of natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and fires. Moreover, this Compact would solve this problem by allowing free movement of advanced practice nurses.
APN Compact Disadvantages
The biggest issue opponents of the APRN Compact License argue about is the lack of patient safety. Under the current APN Compact proposal, APRNs would be able to operate independently with the Compact held above State laws and regulations.
Second, opponents are concerned about decision making being taken away from State Board of Nursing and given to the NCSBN via the Compact.
Best CRNA Programs
We spent hundreds of hours studying all CRNA schools and interviewing over 125 nurse anesthetists to create our exclusive list of Best CRNA Schools. If you’re a SRNA learning about the APRN Compact, please visit the Best CRNA programs and let us know feedback and comments on your CRNA School program to help prospective nurse anesthetist students.
In conclusion, the benefits of the APRN Compact are very clear. This would tremendously help nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives. The APN Compact will be a great development for all Advanced Practice Nurses as well as the general public. It’s our hope that more voters in all the US States push forward for the APN legislation to pass. As it has been nearly two decades since the initial Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Compact was proposed, we believe that it will eventually pass but will just take time.