Don’t miss Jennifer Bogdan’s article in the Providence Journal, about the hassles that the State of Rhode Island created for nurses in the state by failing to pass legislation to remain in the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact, which allowed nurses in any of the 25 participating states to carry use licenses across borders.
… a bill was never even introduced in last year’s General Assembly thanks in part to strong resistance from nurses unions that argue the compact has deprived Rhode Island nurses from opportunities to work here.
The situation has left local nurses who pick up out-of-state work scrambling to quickly acquire other state’s licenses. Meanwhile, out-of-state nurses currently working in Rhode Island under the compact are flocking to the Department of Health with their $139 applications for Rhode Island licenses in tow.
Donna Policastro, executive director of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, which supports the compact, said she’s been fielding calls from concerned nurses who’ve learned about the change. In one case, a nurse is working from home advising for a national company in 16 states. The woman now needs 16 additional licenses.
The Projo’s editors did Bogdan a huge disservice by recasting her article — completely inverting both the angle of the story and the significance of recent events — with the headline, “Unions: Compact deprives R.I. nurses of work.” The bias of the headline writer is apparently so deep that he or she created the false impression that there is currently a compact in effect in the state. The headline should have been something like, “Nurses scramble for licenses after state quits compact.”
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More important, though, is the lesson on our relationship with our government. Think of it: These folks, mainly women, have to beg the General Assembly to keep their jobs possible every year, and this year, the unions managed to brush them aside to ensure more-total ownership of our lives in the Ocean State.
None of this should be acceptable, across the board.