Nurse Agency Licensing Act Summarized

The Nurse Agency Licensing Act (225 ILCS 510/1) is a law designed to protect the public's access to high-quality healthcare by ensuring that nurse agencies employ, assign, and refer licensed and certified personnel to healthcare facilities. The law establishes licensing requirements for nurse agencies in Illinois and sets forth the responsibilities and standards that nurse agencies must meet.

Nurse Agency Licensing Act Summarized

Nurse Agency Definition

Under the law, a nurse agency is defined as any entity that employs, assigns, or refers nurses or certified nurse aides to a healthcare facility for a fee. The term "nurse agency" includes nurses registries but does not include home health agencies or individual providers who work as regular employees of a healthcare facility. Nurse agencies must obtain a license from the Department of Labor to operate in Illinois, and the law prohibits healthcare facilities from using the services of an unlicensed nurse agency.

Other Definitions

The law sets out various definitions, including those for

  • certified nurse aide,
  • covenant not to compete,
  • department,
  • director,
  • employee,
  • health care facility,
  • licensee,
  • long-term basis,
  • nurse, and
  • temporary basis.

Licensing Process for Nurse Agencies

The law also outlines the application and licensing process for nurse agencies, including requirements for submitting an application, providing financial information, demonstrating compliance with employment laws, and obtaining liability insurance. Nurse agencies must renew their licenses annually and meet certain standards, such as maintaining written policies and procedures, conducting reference checks, and providing general and professional liability insurance for their employees.

Department of Labor Authority

The law grants the Department of Labor the authority to investigate complaints and enforce the provisions of the Act. It establishes grounds for the denial, suspension, or revocation of a license, and it provides for administrative procedures, including hearings and judicial review. Violations of the Act may result in civil penalties and criminal charges.

Additionally, the law addresses the liability of nurse agencies for negligent hiring and establishes requirements for

  • employment applications,
  • background checks, and
  • references for nurses and certified nurse aides.

It also prohibits nurse agencies from entering into certain types of contracts and regulates the disclosure of charges and compensation in contracts between nurse agencies and healthcare facilities.

The Department of Labor is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Act, and it has the authority to adopt rules and regulations to support its implementation.

Overall, the Nurse Agency Licensing Act aims to ensure that nurse agencies in Illinois meet specific standards and provide qualified personnel to healthcare facilities, promoting the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to the public.

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