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COVID-19: State Licensing Updates for Registered Nurses

Posted on: March 24, 2020

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BHS Team

Covid 19

Updated 4/13/20

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads throughout the country, a growing number of states who do and do not participate in the NLC, have eased licensing restrictions, allowing clinicians from across the country to assist in defeating this pandemic.

As more states ease restrictions, we want to keep you as informed as possible as to where you will be able to practice in this time of need. Below, you’ll find state-specific information for states who have updated/eased their licensing restrictions..

Please note:

  • This information is up-to-date as of April 13th, 2020. We will continue to update it as often as possible.
  • For states currently participating in the NLC, there are no changes for RNs who hold a multistate license to continue working in other NLC participating states.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued waivers of certain federal laws and regulations that will allow providers to use their existing, active, U.S. state license(s) to practice in any state across the country. While these waivers have been issued, they still need to be approved at each state level in order to go into effect.

Alabama: While no temporary license is available at this time, the following changes are in effect:

-Fee for reactivation of a retired nursing license within two years of retirement is reduced from $600.00 to $250.00. 
-CE requirements for reinstatement of a lapsed license or reactivation of a retired license are suspended for the duration of the public health emergency.
-All temporary permits with valid terms of fewer than 180 days are extended to 180 days

Arizona: An Emergency Temporary License, in person, can be issued in 48 hours. Must have Job offer letter with start date in next 7 days , must have 960 hrs of practice in last 5 years or have completed education in last 5 years. The applicant can not have any "Yes" answers. All required documents must be presented to the board.

California: Healthcare facilities must sign a form stating that they need coverage for COVID-19, an email must then be emailed to the state board who will review and approve a temporary license in 2-4 business days.

Connecticut: Practitioners licensed in another state are allowed to work in Connecticut without obtaining Connecticut licensure for up to 60 days. There are no forms to complete or any type of notification required by the Connecticut Board at this time.

Delaware: To obtain a temporary license, the form must be submitted by a Delaware facility. 

: Practitioners licensed in another state are allowed to work in FL without obtaining FL licensure for up to 30 days. There are no forms to complete or any type of notification required by the Florida Board at this time. 

: The Governor’s Executive Order for a State of Emergency, authorizes staff to assess applications for temporary permits ( good for 30 days, May be extended) and to issue temporary permits to licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses who have an active, unencumbered license in any other U.S. jurisdiction who are entering into the state to respond to the declared emergency. An unencumbered license means a license that is not currently on probation, monitoring, suspension, and/or does not have any other type of limitation including current participation in an alternative to discipline program.

Hawaii: Out of state Nurses with active licenses are allowed to practice in Hawaii without a license, as long as they have never had their license revoked or suspended AND are hired by a state or county agency or facility, or by a hospital (including rehabilitation hospitals, nursing home, hospice, pharmacy, or clinical laboratory). Additionally, previously licensed providers with expired HI licenses are also allowed to resume practice. 

Idaho: Yes, If you are a LPN or RN with an active unencumbered license in a non-compact state or if you have a single-state license from a compact state and you would like to temporarily practice nursing in Idaho, you do not need to apply. During Idaho’s Emergency Declaration, you may practice nursing in Idaho under the authority of your own state’s license.

Illinois: Currently, temporary licenses are available and required for practice in Illinois. Temporary license will remain active until 9-30-2020.

Indiana: The State of Indiana has created a registry of individuals who do not hold a valid license to practice in Indiana but can be mobilized to help fight COVID-19 by issuing temporary permits to practice. Any individual who utilizes the registry may work initially for 90 days (extendable in 30 day increments) or until the public health emergency is over.

Iowa: A nurse who holds an active license in another state may provide emergency services in an area in which the governor of Iowa has declared a state of emergency.

Iowa's Governor has temporarily suspended the regulations prohibiting the practice of nursing on an inactive license. The suspension is limited to nurses whose licenses have lapsed or expired within the five (5) years prior to the Proclamation, and is further limited to the provision of nursing services to victims of COVID-19. This suspension of these regulations is effective through April 16, 2020

Kentucky: A temporary license is available. 

Louisiana: The requirement that out of state nurses obtain a license to practice in Louisiana is temporarily suspended provided that such person has an active, unencumbered, unrestricted license to practice nursing from any US state, territory or district.

Maine: Now allowing expedited authorization to practice at no cost of nurses licensed in other jurisdictions to provide assistance for the duration of the emergency. Applicants must be performing clinical tasks related to COVID-19 emergency. Applicants must have a valid RN license in another state that remains valid for the duration of the emergency authorization to practice (90 days). Applicants who have disciplinary or adverse action in the past 10 years involving loss of license, probation, restriction or limitation do not qualify for licensure. The completed application along with a passport type photo must be scanned and emailed to the board. Once reviewed, the board will email the RN a 90-Day authorization to practice letter.

Maryland: At this time, Registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) who hold a current active license in any other state or jurisdiction to render nursing care in Maryland during an emergency situation for not more than 30 days. The 30-day limitation is suspended until the state of emergency is terminated and the catastrophic health emergency is rescinded.

Massachusetts: The Board of Nursing has updated its policies to expedite the processing of reciprocal license applications for RN's that are licensed in another jurisdiction, allowing applications to be processed in one business day.

Michigan: For expired licenses, if a provider wants to renew their license to solely help with the COVID-19 response, MI will waive the CME requirement & will count the COVID-19 response as hours towards CMEs.

Mississippi: Currently, temporary licenses are available to practice in Mississippi.

New Jersey: Compact Nurses may practice in New Jersey (NLC implementation is currently TBD). Non-Compact Nurses can apply for a temporary license, which will be processed within 24 hours and is good for 180 days.

New Mexico: At this time, an LPN or RN licensed in another state, or Canada, can work in NM for up to 30 days in an emergency.

New York: RN's licensed & in current good standing in other states are able to practice in New York without a New York license, and will not be penalized. This will not be handled/registered/authorized through NYSED in any way. It will be handled through the individual facility, through their own processes

North CarolinaCurrently allowing any nurse with an active RN license in any other state (compact or non-compact) to work in North Carolina . Employers must verify the active, unrestricted license of all nurses.

North Dakota: Currently allowing any Nurse with an active RN license in any other state (compact or Non-compact ) to work in North Dakota. Employers must verify the active, unrestricted license of all nurses.

Oregon: A temporary license is available. 

Pennsylvania: A temporary license is available.

Rhode Island: Medical professionals who hold a medical license in another state and are currently in good standing can practice in RI after filling out a form. There is no cost for this new 90 day license.

South Carolina: The state of South Carolina will issue “emergency” nursing licenses to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The state medical board can expedite temporary licensure for out-of-state RNs within 24 hours.

South Dakota: Nurses with active license in another state may practice in North Dakota during this state of emergency.

Texas: RNs can be granted a temporary license, but must hold an out of state license with no action against it. The facility that the provider will be working at will need to communicate with the state board to complete the process. The state board is working on approving licenses as fast as possible, but do not have any timeframe for temporary license approval.

Vermont: Vermont is allowing nurses who hold an out-of-state license to practice in Vermont without a Vermont license. Nurse must submit their info to the Vermont board to work in state. Telehealth does not need to submit info.

Washington: Those who wish to apply for a temporary license will have to use the state’s emergency online portal to do so. Once all required items are received by the board, the board is attempting to issue licenses the same day.

West Virginia: Out of state nurses may work in West Virginia. They MUST complete West Virginia form and see their information on West Virginia website to begin practicing.

If a Nurse has an active, unencombered license in another state they may practice in Wisconsin. The facility must tell Wisconsin in 10 days of the nurse starting and the Nurse must submit the Temporary or Permanent license application within 30 days of starting.

Wyoming: Currently allowing out of state nurses to work in Wyoming due to COVID-19

BHS Team
About BHS Team

Barton Healthcare Staffing focuses on building a broad network of quality nursing and allied health clinicians — One relationship at a time. Our team partners with a variety of healthcare settings throughout the country to place medical professionals in temporary positions.