TRENTON, N.J. – A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, which allows doctors to obtain a multi-state medical license, was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday.
The legislation (A1112) allows New Jersey to enter the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, a group of 30 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam created in 2017. The Compact is an agreement that allows participating states to simplify the licensing process for doctors who want to practice in multiple states.
“We saw what happened after Hurricane Sandy. We badly needed doctors, and willing medical professionals from Pennsylvania and Delaware could not assist because of licensure rules,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “We cannot allow ourselves to be in that situation again.”
Even before the Covid-19 mandates for healthcare workers began resulting in job losses, New Jersey Business reported in August 2019 that the United States will have a shortage of up to 122,000 physicians in 2032. Both rural and low-income urban areas will be hardest hit.
Dancer said joining the Compact may counteract that shortage by improving patient access to specialists and opening more opportunities for telemedicine.
New Jersey passed legislation in 2019 to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to obtain multi-state licenses. New Jersey nurses were able to start applying for their multi-state licenses Nov. 15, 2021. Thirty-eight states and territories have enacted nurse licensure compact legislation since 2018.
While the Compacts do not issue licenses, they allow for an expedited process for medical professionals to obtain licensing from other states. Doctors are under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is being seen.
“The Compact has successfully streamlined portability of medical licensing for several years now without compromising standards or patient safety,” Dancer said. “Now that New Jersey will join it, our residents will be able to benefit from better access to medical care.”