DENVER (CBS4) – State lawmakers have averted a massive shortage of nurses in Colorado. They passed a bill on Wednesday that remedies a small but significant technicality that would have prevented 86,000 nurses from working in Colorado at the end of the week.

At issue was an agreement Colorado has with 26 other states that allows nurses to practice across state lines without getting a license in each individual state.

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(credit: CBS)

Colorado’s House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 18-027 on Wednesday morning which changes the current interstate Nurse Licensure Compact to the Enhanced Licensure Compact.

While the new compact makes several changes to the current background check process, most notably it relieves all nurses licensed prior to July 20, 2017 from needing a new Colorado license in order to continue working in Colorado.

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(credit: CBS)

“I am pleased to see that the first bill of the session will improve health care in Colorado,” said State Representative Hugh McKean, a Republican representing Loveland. “Eighty-six thousand nurses can breathe easier knowing that they will not be required to get a different license to continue serving Coloradans, and I am grateful for the Colorado Legislature’s expedient work to pass this bill.”

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CBS4’s Shaun Boyd interviews Rep. Hugh McKean. (credit: CBS)

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