COVID-19: Update on NP practice regulations, policy and licensure changes

COVID-19 is still going strong in the United States. The pandemic has changed the way nurse practitioners work and live their daily lives. Some political leaders have called for a reopening of the country, but many think that we are still not there yet.

 

We’re counting more than 3 million infected people, with a current average of 60,000 new cases per day, which means that nurse practitioners at the front lines will still have a lot of work to do.

 

This situation highlights the importance of licensing and state policies for nurse practitioners. Are there new changes in the horizon? Will some states change their regulations to keep fighting the pandemic? Let’s find out.

 

Which states are still allowing out-of-state NPs to practice?

 

Nurse practitioners should have the AANP website bookmarked to get constant updates on policy and licensure. They have put together a comprehensive group of links for information on what every state is doing to fight the pandemic.

 

However, this information isn’t updated as frequently as needed (the last update was June 30). A few things have happened since that are very important to note.

 

Regarding the states whose policies remain separated from most of the others, we have:

 

Kansas, which applied an executive order that implied the relief of certain provision and practice restrictions (this order recently expired).

 

Arkansas, which still only allows in-state personnel (retired or with a temporary license) to practice.

 

Missouri, which does not have any policies in place as of this date.

 

The remaining 47 states maintain their emergency measure of allowing out-of-state personnel to work within their borders.

 

 

Which states have suspended or waived practice agreement requirements?

 

Tennessee and Kansas are the only states with an expired executive order concerning practice agreement requirements. This order gave NPs from that state a few important freedoms concerning their jobs, and they will have to keep an eye out to see if these regulations are scrapped or maintained in the future.

 

On the other hand, Louisiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New York, and New Jersey are now the only states that have waived all practice agreement requirements (temporarily). 14 other states have waived a few details of their practice agreements, and 6 other states have still not taken any action on this issue.

 

The state of Louisiana, in particular, has suspended all practice agreement requirements for the duration of this public health emergency. There is a good chance that the other states will also do this, but NPs should keep monitoring the website of their corresponding government officials to stay updated on the situation.

 

Read more on NPHub:

 

 

On another subject, NPs should also consider that more than 35 states have called for volunteers to fight the pandemic, and you can check this out as well on the AANP website. If you want to help your community, you can find lots of information there on how to make a difference.

 

What about license renewal?

 

This question is very important. Many states have given grace periods for licensure renewal, others have waived certain requirements, such as recertification. 

 

The District of Columbia stands out, as they postponed the entire online renewal process a few months ago. However, the process finally started on June 8, and will run to August 30 of this year. People who were unable to renew their license will have a second chance starting on August 31 until October.

 

The state of New York, the one with the highest number of COVID-19 cases to date, has only waived the requirement for CE ‘live’ coursework. California, which currently comes second, has not made any changes to their license renewal process.

 

 

What is the current state of COVID-19 cases in the United States?

 

According to this map from the New York Times, there is a concentration of COVID-19 cases in the eastern half of the country, extending inwards into the central states. 

 

The north eastern region of the country has had a little bit more luck than the south eastern region (Florida, Texas, and Georgia, for example), but the truth is that the number of cases in said regions of the country remains much higher than in the West Coast, where California is the exception.

 

These hard-hit states will probably have to keep enacting legislation to continue the fight against the pandemic, which means that nurse practitioners in those areas will need to keep an eye on the AANP website (and other resources) perhaps a bit more than their western counterparts.

 

What other resources for NPs can I check out in the meantime?

 

Every NP and NP student right now should take some time to go through other useful resources that are available to them on the AANP website. From details on the spread of the virus to news reports on the current situation, this website has all the information NPs need to stay updated regarding the profession.

 

Interested NPs should also check out their weekly Government Affairs Update, which is only available to people with an account on the website. If you haven’t done it yet, create your member account at the AANP to read lots of important news and articles regarding COVID-19 policy and the nursing world in general.

 

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NPHub is also committed to giving you the information you need during these trying times. Check out more articles on our blog and stay updated with us through social media. As things keep changing, we will also be publishing more articles for NP students and professionals.

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