Professional Licensure and the Military

Jun 15 2011

Published by at 6:55 pm under the logistics train

The MOAA Spouse Facebook page had a recent entry about DoD helping military spouses get their professional licenses more easily transferred from state to state. This is a great project from my perspective.

Relating it to my situation, when I was active duty, keeping my licensure and certification as an RN and as a Certified Nurse Midwife was pretty easy. As long as I maintained a current license in my home state, along with required continuing education, I was able to practice nursing in the Air Force all over the globe.

However, returning to work after military retirement was an eye-opening experience. It was not a quick and smooth process to get my Colorado RN license, then Advanced Practice Nurse license, in order to get a job here. I already had a current California license, so I thought it would “transfer” over easily. I had to get all official transcripts, pay a fee to have California verify my license and my NCLEX score (the nursing exam that I took in 1985!).

After all that, my application sat on a desk for several months. Although I have been practicing as a Nurse Midwife for 17 years, I am still not able to write prescriptions in Colorado. In order to get prescriptive authority I have to retake some graduate level classes, and have 1,800 hours of supervision writing prescriptions here in Colorado. This will take a while, as I only volunteer at USAFA’s Women’s Health Clinic once a week!

I was glad to read about an upcoming change in law in several states that will make it easier for military spouses to maintain professional licenses as they move from state to state. Many military spouses work in career fields that require licenses (33% of working spouses), such as nursing and teaching. It’s a shame that many gave up their careers or had to let their licenses lapse because the hurdles to get licensed were not worth it.

Kudos to the DoD Office of Military and Family Policy for working with the state governments and getting this done! Maybe DoD could extend that program to retired active duty members.

Read the full article from DoD, Military Spouses Get Help With Professional Licenses.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Professional Licensure and the Military”

  1. Brenda Owenon 15 Jun 2011 at 10:17 pm

    It would be great if the program was extended to retired active duty members but it still won’t help us with our CNM licensing and prescriptive authority :(

  2. Tom Wahlon 16 Jun 2011 at 2:35 pm

    @Brenda – it is too bad the program creators didn’t think to include retired or separated military members because they have similar problems: it seems this would have been logical to the people thinking of this problem.

  3. Chris Jenningson 17 Jun 2011 at 10:07 am

    Nice to see the military taking on the problem– would be great to include retired military, and maybe the private sector will make it easier too

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