New Bill Could Change Background Checks for Nurses in Colorado

By Michael Klazema on 1/22/2018
A new bill pending in Colorado could change the way the state looks at background checks for registered nurses. Per a report from, Colorado’s House Finance Committee recently met to discuss joining a multi-state agreement called the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (or eNLC). The agreement is a coalition of states that lets nurses work across state lines without having to go through additional background checks or licensure processes.

Per coverage, Colorado is already part of the original Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), which was implemented in 1999. The NLC had the same stated goal as the eNLC: fostering greater interstate flexibility for nurses. However, the legislation did not bring about completely standardized licensure requirements across all the states in the Compact. Instead, states retained “different statutory and rule requirements,” according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Nurses wishing to relocate to new states within the Compact had to complete additional steps to get licensed.

Reports explain that by eliminating unique requirements across associated states, the new Compact brings the United States one step closer to a true standardized nursing licensure process. Once a nurse is licensed, he or she can provide care in any of the states in the Compact without having to obtain a new license.

There are several uniform licensure requirements every nurse in the eNLC must follow to obtain a multi-state license, coverage notes. Every applicant must pass both state and federal fingerprint criminal checks. Any applicants with felony convictions on their records—at the state or federal level—will be disqualified. Candidates are not allowed to have any misdemeanor convictions “related to the practice of nursing.” The NCSBN assures that all misdemeanors will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

The eNLC has officially been active in the United States since July 2017 when the 26th state joined. All nurses that are already a part of the original NLC are grandfathered in with the eNLC, reports confirm. These nurses will not need to go through additional background checks to be a part of the eNLC. In Colorado, there are 86,000 nurses who meet this benchmark. Before these nurses are grandfathered in to the eNLC, the Colorado legislature must vote to join the Compact.

State legislators have already voted once not to join the eNLC, reports note. However, that vote saw the provisions regarding the Compact bundled with an overarching healthcare bill. Many Republican lawmakers voted against that packaged bill because they claimed it overreached. Now that the eNLC will be voted on as a standalone piece of legislation, administrators predict a different outcome.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.