Nurses can work across State Lines faster than ever before.
With COVID-19 officially labeled a pandemic, hospitals across the country are quickly ramping up their hiring process in preparation for a wider outbreak. In times of crisis, nurses rise to the challenge; In wars, epidemics, and pandemics; when the public needs healing and support, nurses are there.
Today, we are now facing another pandemic, with infections of COVID-19 continuing to rise throughout the world, and the country needs nurses now more than ever. In the work we’re doing at Republic, we see nurses making the informed choice to be the front line and enter infected areas, care for infected patients, and put themselves at risk in order to support those in need.
Nurses are the core of the healthcare system, and we are honored to help connect them with roles in which they improve and save lives.
State Licensure Changes
Updated as of March 23, 2020
Amid the current Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, federal and state governments are working together to ensure that healthcare providers are available to help patients in the areas that are hardest hit. That includes bringing in travel nurses across state lines when necessary.
To that end, several state boards of nursing are temporarily changing their licensing restrictions and slashing the time normally needed to apply and be approved for crisis response nursing jobs.
We’ve pulled together some important information about these changes in nurse licensing and your ability to take a temporary nursing position in another state.
Any questions? Call 888-992-8818 or chat live below with one of our recruiting consultants.
How To Verify Your Current Nursing License(S)
Current nurse travelers. If you are already a travel nurse with Republic Health Resources or you want to apply for a travel nursing job—your recruiter can help you verify all the states in which you hold a valid license to practice.
All nurses. You can use the NCSBN’s national Nursys online database to quickly check on your nurse licensure. The system is available around the clock, at no cost to you. Nursys holds licensure data and practice privilege information for more than 4.9 million U.S. nurses, including registered nurses, licensed practical/vocational nurses and advanced practice registered nurses. Individual state boards can also provide licensure information.
Does Having A Multistate Nursing License Help?
Definitely! A multistate nursing license can definitely speed things up in this current crisis.
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) already offers nurses with multi state licenses who live in participating states numerous benefits, including the ability to practice both in person and via telenursing in all NLC states. That means that you can quickly get to work in a state that participates in the compact.
Thirty-two states currently participate in the NLC. In addition, Indiana and New Jersey have passed NLC legislation and are awaiting implementation of the compact.
STATE REGULATORY CHANGES IN NURSE LICENSURE DUE TO COVID-19
A number of states, including Louisiana, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and California, have announced they are temporarily changing certain requirements that will affect nurses practicing in their states, due to the impact (and anticipated impact) of the coronavirus on their healthcare workforce.
Here are some current changes being enacted at the state level*:
Alabama. Because of the current state of emergency, you can practice nursing in Alabama for up to 30 days if you have a valid nursing license in another state and your employer can verify that license. After 30 days, you will need to apply for a temporary permit to practice for another 90 days.
Alaska. The state of Alaska is granting 30-day non-renewable licenses for telehealth in emergency services to anyone with an Alaska nursing license (including RNs, LPNs, and APRNs).
California.Update: Medical centers and facilities can file a request for additional staff during the current crisis. Despite some delays with some fingerprinting results, the state’s board of nursing has not suspended the requirement for fingerprints for each applicant.
Colorado. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies is working to increase the number of nurses available to provide care by adjusting licensure requirements. If you have a license to practice in another state, they are expediting the process to get licensed in Colorado. More information about emergency measures will be released soon.
Georgia. You can apply for a temporary nursing license to practice in Georgia as an advanced practice registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or registered nurse, according to recent adjustments by the Georgia Board of Nursing. The board is waiving the application fee.
Louisiana. You can apply to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing for an emergency temporary permit that will remain valid for 60 days as long as you hold a current unrestricted license in another state, can provide valid ID and a copy of professional license to the board to be used for verification.
Maryland. If your Maryland nursing license is scheduled to expire during the current state of emergency, you will be granted an extension. Your license’s expiration date will be extended to the 30th day after the state of emergency ends.
Massachusetts. The Maryland State Board of Nursing is set to accept and expedite the issuance of out-of-state licensure applications. You will still have to provide all the required forms and documents, including transcripts and licensure verifications from other states, to apply.
New Jersey. Under the regulatory waivers, individuals who hold current healthcare licenses and certifications in good standing in other jurisdictions, and have been practicing within the last five years, will be able to secure NJ licenses by completing a simple form. DCA intends to grant applications within hours of receiving the form.
North Carolina. North Carolina is allowing a temporary waiver of state licensure requirements for healthcare and behavioral health personnel who are licensed in another territory or the District of Columbia to provide healthcare services within the “Emergency Area.”
North Dakota. North Dakota has temporarily suspended licensure requirements for healthcare professionals, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and APRNs.
Ohio. The Ohio State Board of Nursing has activated an expedited process for reviewing and granting temporary licenses to nurses from other states who hold valid, current unencumbered licenses. Once you receive a temporary license, you should be able to practice within five business days–or fewer, if the board receives an application for reciprocity.
Texas. The Texas governor gave the Texas State Board of Nursing the ability to adjust temporary licensure for out-of-state nurses. The board is fast-tracking the temporary licensure of nurses to help the state’s response to COVID-19. Employers will have to notify the board if they plan to hire nurses to practice under this exception and if needed they can do this after the nurse is hired. Updated: Texas is allowing temporary permits to nurses who have yet to take the licensing exam and is suspending other regulations for students to assist with the state’s response to Covid-19. Nurses with inactive licenses or retired nurses will be allowed to reactivate their licenses, too.
Vermont. Nurses from other states can apply to the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation for a temporary license. To qualify, you must have a current license and be in good standing, with no disciplinary proceedings in any other jurisdiction. With a temporary license, you will be able to practice in Vermont for 90 days or until an end to the state of emergency has been declared. Fees for required licensure to practice will be waived.
Washington. At the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, Washington’s state board of nursing has expedited the application process and will be awarding temporary practice permits if nursing applicants meet all the licensure requirements. If you meet all the requirements but still need a completed FBI fingerprint background check, you can still get a temporary practice permit while waiting on the results of that background check. Healthcare facilities can contact the board to receive expedited approval temporary practice permit for licensed out of state nurses in good standing.
West Virginia. The governor of West Virginia has announced the state is suspending several statutory regulations, which should make it easier for medical providers to practice in West Virginia during the state of emergency. For example, the state is suspending the requirement that telemedicine can only be performed by video.
*Please note that this information is evolving and may change frequently at the state level. Some additional states may also be changing their licensing requirements in the coming weeks.
For the latest updates and guidelines on the pandemic, visit the CDC below.