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Ponl legislation and advocacy

Visiting Your legislator? Be prepared with the PONL Handout for Legislative Visits

Recent Activity

Read the notes submitted by Mary O'Connor here and see the update for the Nurse Licensure Compact below:

July 18, 2024

Governor Shapiro signed HB 2200 “FBI-Approved Language to Implement Licensure Compacts” into law on July 17, 2024.

It is now Act No. 79 of 2024, and it will take effect in 180 days. 

This is great news and Pennsylvania’s nearly 300,000 licensed Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses are one step closer to being able to obtain a multi-state license.

Pennsylvania joined the Nurse License Compact on July 1, 2021, when Gov. Wolf signed the Nurse Licensure Compact (Act 68) into law.

The FBI did not believe Act 68 and other professions’ interstate compact legislation language was sufficient for background checks and provided lawmakers with draft language to ensure national criminal background checks. Therefore, Senator Lisa Boscola and Rep Frank Burns worked with the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI to include compromise language into HB2200 and its companion bill SB1165 that amends Title 63 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

Act No. 79 of 2024 provides that applicants for initial licenses, certificates, or interstate compact licenses, in a healthcare field must submit fingerprints for a background check to the PA State Police, who will then send the fingerprints to the FBI for identity verification and a national criminal history check. Current Pennsylvania license holders do not need to submit fingerprints for a criminal history check for renewal of their PA license.

How will this affect nurses now that Act No. 79 of 2024 is signed into law? To find out, I attended the PA State Board of Nursing (PA-SBN) meeting on July 12, 2024, and the following was reported:

  • Now that Act No. 79 is signed into law, the SBN will write temporary regulations for currently licensed nurses to obtain a multi-state license, and for new nursing school graduates who reside in Pennsylvania to apply for a multi-state license.
  • The decision was made to prepare temporary NLC regulations because they can be approved faster, although they have a shorter lifespan. Full development of the regulations takes about 1 1/2 years because of multiple tiers of review and approval.
  • The SBN will need time to develop guidance on how licensees can convert from single to multi-state licenses,
  • The FBI provided only conditional language to the legislature to include in HB2200. The FBI wanted the legislation to be approved first, and then the FBI will review the resultant approved language in newly enacted Act No. 79 of 2024 to determine final approval.
  • When the FBI finally approves the language, they will need time to determine how to collect background checks and store this information. The PA State Police will contract with an outside vendor who will set up fingerprinting and storage. 

Prior SBN Board meeting minutes noted:

  • Technological changes are being made to the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PaLS) so that it is ready to issue multi-state licenses.
  • The SBN Board approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for licensed nurses’ eligibility to apply for multi-state licenses.

Of note, since Sept. 5, 2023, Pennsylvania partially implemented the NLC, allowing RNs and LPNs who hold multi-state licenses from other states through the NLC to provide in-person and telehealth services to PA patients. These nurses from other states, who also hold a Pennsylvania single-state license, may stop renewing it.

Now that Act No. 79 of 2024 is enacted, and all of the other steps completed, full implementation of the NLC will allow Pennsylvania RNs and LPNs with multi-state licenses to work in any of the 42 Nurse Compact States.

Visit for more information.

Take Action!

As you now know, the House passed the Nurse Ratio Bill, by a vote of 119-84.  

Now the bill will go to the Senate and discussions could potentially begin in September. Some states that had similar deiscussions regarding ratios came away without a Ratio Bill, but rather an agreement that staffing committees would be established in their hospitals.

Read the PONL Legislative Visit talking points here.

We need some information from YOU! Using this link, please tell us if your hospital has a staffing committee or not - it will take you less than two minutes and will help us know how to best serve you. We welcome any additional detail you can provide us, too!

During the summer I urge all of us to contact our State Senators since they could be more available at their home offices. If you do not know who your legislators are, please use this handy link to find out: Find Your Legislators. Thank you for your advocacy on this very critical issue.

Please make use of the talking points supporting our stance that can be found on the Legislative page of the PONL website.

If you have additional questions, please contact Rosa Hickey by email or phone at 717-487-0911.

Rosa Hickey, MSN, RN, NEA-BC | PONL Legislative Committee Chair

House HEALTH Committee Vote meeting June 6, 2023 HB106 Patient Safety Act of 2023, Sponsored by Mehaffie, Tomlinson, and  Kosierowski  Regular Session 2023-2024 House Bill 0106 P.N. 1462 (

YouTube video of live-streamed House HEALTH Committee Meeting, 6/6/2023.

Bills in the Pennsylvania Legislature during the 118th Legislative Session

1. Nurse Staffing Practices & Ratios

PONL Opposes HB 106 “The Patient Safety Act” (Mehaffie, Tomlinson & Kosierowski) & SB 247 (Senator Collett)

PONL is strongly committed to nurse staffing practices that support the provision of safe patient care. PONL endorses the autonomy of each healthcare organization to establish appropriate strategies to deliver high levels of patient care by providing safe, effective, and collaborative staffing practices. PONL is adamantly opposed to any legislation that would mandate nurse-to-patient ratios for all heath care organizations.

Read PONL's Position Statement on Nurse Staffing Practices & Ratios (updated April 2023).

2. Telemedicine

PONL Supports

  • SB739 Telemedicine is now Act No. 42 of 2024, signed into law on July 3, 2024. This bill empowers the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) to ensure Pennsylvanians’ have access to telemedicine services and treatments remain covered. See statement by HAP on Telehealth Bill Will Expand Pennsylvanians’ Access to Health Care.

    3. Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners

    PONL Supports

    • SB 25 "Modernization of the Professional Nursing Law" (Bartolotta and Boscolo [Senate]) 

      Click on amended bill 1797to read the amendments to the text of the bill beginning on p. 25. The amendments allow nurse practitioners who have been NPs for the last three (3) years, and completed 3,600 hours to have full practice authority (FPA) in 48 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, which are designated “rural”.

    • The amended SB 25 was reported as amended, July 1, 2024, 1st & 2nd considerations were done, it was re-referred to Appropriations, and Re-reported as committed, July 2, 2024.

      SB 25 is on the Senate Calendar for Third Consideration when the Senate session resumes on September 16, 2024.

    View more details and provide your support.

    Workplace Violence Bills Introduced to U.S. Congress

    PONL Supports 

    PONL Does Not Support*
    • S.1176 Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act Baldwin [D-WI]   | Referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, April 18, 2023
    • H.R. 2663 Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act Courtney [D-CT-2] | Referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means, April 18, 2023

    (*RATIONALE for non-support: The OSHA Mandate duplicates The Joint Commission’s Workplace Violence Prevention standard effective January 2022. These two Workplace Violence bills duplicate that which is already required.  Therefore, PONL Supports the SAVE Acts.)

    PONL Monitoring

    PONL Legislative Committee Members

    Rosa Hickey, Chair
    Andrew Thum, Co-Chair

    Committee Members:

    • Carol Amann
    • Angela Brown
    • Heidi Dewitt Zedlar
    • Fiona Felton
    • Tina Roma Fisher
    • Denise Frasca
    • Carol Ann Gioia
    • Kimberly Kennedy

    • Jessica Lazzeri
    • Deborah Lidey
    • Joan Madalone
    • Jessica Nardi
    • Mary O'Connor
    • Glenn Repko
    • Kathy Sankovich
    • Deb Thompson
    • Cathy Weidman
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    Pittsburgh, PA 15228


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