Opinion: I support the proposed nurse licensure legislation compact

Here’s why.

It won’t be long before the cruise ships start arriving. Every year, some tourists require dialysis treatments at our Juneau dialysis clinic. Last year, we served 16 visitors at our clinic.

With additional seasonal patients, we may need more short-term nursing staff at our clinic.

That’s why we are supporting SB 179, the Nurse Licensure Compact. If Alaska becomes the 35th state to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, it will allow us to bring nurses quickly from other compact states when we have surges in our patient population and require nurses quickly.

We don’t always get much notice when a visiting patient is arriving. Currently, it takes anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get a temporary or permanent nursing license in Alaska.

The Nurse Licensure Compact is important to us but also for health care for all Alaskans. According to a recent study on nursing shortages by RegisteredNursing.org, by 2030, Alaska will be the state with the highest percentage of nursing openings, at 23%. Alaska needs more nurses.

• Kristina Poley, RN, is the clinical manager for Fresenius Kidney Care Reifenstein in Juneau.

Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.