New law allows nurses with out-of-state licenses to keep working in Colorado

DENVER -- State  lawmakers made a move to avoid a possible shortage of nurses, sending a message that nurses are indeed the lifeblood of our healthcare system.

When Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill this week allowing Colorado to maintain an agreement with 26 other states to utilize licensed  out of state nurses, it provided hope to many who warned of an impending nursing crisis.

Erica Rossitto is  the Chief Nursing Executive for Denver's largest healthcare system, Health One.

She told FOX31 during a health crisis, as many as 40 percent of nurses can come from out of state.

It's crucial assistance especially during this year’s flu season. “We have slated travel nurses to come and work in our hospitals from all across the country to be able to take care of those patients.”

Experts say one way to avert a nursing shortage in the future is to draw more talent into the field.

Taylor Rockaway will become a nurse in 2019 when she graduates from the Denver College of Nursing.  “I think nurses can be a  really good mediator between what's going on in the world of  medicine and how that impacts an individual personally.”

New numbers show more millennials are choosing nursing as a profession and are twice as likely to be nurses as their grandparents.

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