Nursing License Requirements Suspended to Support Coronavirus Response
In order to support the ability of nurses to treat patients during the current public health emergency, the Department of State has suspended a number of administrative requirements for nurses.
Registered Nurses and Practical Nurses will not need to apply for extensions of temporary or graduate permits, and all permits that would normally expire during the next 90 days will be extended for an additional 90 days. Temporary nursing practice permits and graduate permits will also be extended beyond one year and extension fees will be waived.
In addition, Registered Nurses, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Specialists can continue to care for patients if their licenses are currently in renewal and set to expire on April 30. These licenses will be extended for an additional three months.
Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners will also be given the authority to practice to their full capabilities and assist in the coronavirus response without being required to practice within a specific clinical specialty.
Nursing school graduates can apply for a graduate permit under certain circumstances to assist in the coronavirus response. More details on measures to help healthcare practitioners treat Pennsylvanians affected by COVID-19 are available here.
Access to Pharmacy Services Expanded
The Department of State has taken a number of steps to relax restrictions on pharmacies to ensure Pennsylvanians can continue to access the medications they need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Out-of-state pharmacies will be permitted to ship goods into Pennsylvania under some circumstances, and temporary licensure will be granted to pharmacies in other states so they can provide goods and services to Pennsylvanians for the duration of the coronavirus emergency.
Also, pharmacists will be permitted to provide remote supervision by telephone or computer to pharmacy technicians and interns, ensuring these employees can continue to dispense medications without a pharmacist physically on the premises.
More details about this announcement are available here.
Mental Health Crisis Line Available During Coronavirus Emergency
The public health emergency prompted by the COVID-19 coronavirus has created a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety throughout the state and the nation. The Department of Health encourages state residents to practice self-care, read only news from reliable sources, take breaks from the news, and focus on things you can control, like having good hygiene.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the state’s crisis hotline by texting PA to 741-741.