BATON ROUGE, La. (Fort Polk Progress) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed two bills into law June 1, allowing for out-of-state nursing and physical therapy medical licenses to be transferable into the state.
The legislative move is especially beneficial to nurses and physical therapists who are military dependents, as it permits them to secure employment rapidly after moving to duty stations in Louisiana.
Fort Polk Progress President Mike Reese stressed the significance of the new laws, and the impact it will have on the Fort Polk community.
"The laws will ease the stress for military spouses looking to secure employment in the medical field after moving to Fort Polk," Reese said. "As a result, they will be able to assimilate to the community quicker and be able to appreciate all it has to offer."
State Sen. Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City) spearheaded the Nurse Licensure Compact and Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, both of which emphasize the need for uniformity among states regarding medical licensure requirements. Through the NLC, Louisiana now joins 29 additional compact nursing states.
"Military dependents from these states will no longer have to worry about the financial burdens that come with waiting to obtain new medical licenses to continue their nursing and physical therapy careers at Fort Polk," Reese said. "Fort Polk Progress appreciates Senator Peacock's efforts to push these bills forward, and his success in getting them signed into law."
The benefits of the new legislation also include bringing in more qualified registered nurses and physical therapists to the state, broadening the scope of medical services available to the public.
"For Fort Polk and its surrounding communities, this means that there will be more qualified nurses and physical therapists available to meet the medical needs of soldiers and their family members, as well as local residents," Reese said. "The laws benefit everyone in Louisiana, as it expands employment opportunities and access to quality healthcare."