GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Colorado lawmakers passed the first Senate Bill of 2018, making several changes for local and traveling nurses.
The bill will expand the nursing pool by allowing more out of state nurses in Colorado to keep their multi-state practicing licenses. As many as 86,000 nurses can breathe a little easier, knowing they won't have to get to get a different license to keep their job.
Colorado nurses will be able to maintain their universal multi-state license, which 26 other states have adopted.
"Healthcare doesn't have those boundaries,” said Sheryl Coffey, the human resources director at Community Hospital. "We will be able to recruit from other states."
This will allow nurses to travel and work within those states, and Community Hospital said it can save time and effort.
"It’s beneficial to us because we are going to be able to bring in new staff and not steal from the other hospitals in town,” said Coffey.
The process for background checks will also be made more thorough. States will be able to obtain and submit criminal history for all their job candidates.
"We are still going to have to watch which states we can pull from and which ones we cannot,” said Coffey.
Community Hospital says they have around a dozen employees that would have been affected if this bill had not been passed by Friday.
St. Mary's Hospital said had four nurses who could have been impacted.
Governor Hickenlooper is expected to sign the bill in the upcoming days.