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Emergency rules will allow out-of-state nurses to practice in Hawaii

The Maui News

Gov. David Ige approved emergency rules on Thursday that will allow out-of-state nurses to temporarily practice in Hawaii without applying for and obtaining a license, citing the state health care systems struggles with staffing.

“The COVID-19 virus continues to cause a strain on the state’s healthcare system with hospitals throughout our communities reporting serious staffing challenges and conditions,” Ige said in a news release Thursday. “This action addresses the immediate peril to public health and ensures that medical professionals may focus on providing critical care to patients.”

Enacted through the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the emergency rules allow nurses to practice temporarily by endorsement and submission of a list of required information from a health care entity. Each health care entity would submit a credentialed list containing the names of each participating nurse, the nurse’s home state, a residential address, an email address, the nurse’s active license number and a signed verification that the nurse meets certain established criteria set forth in the emergency rules.

“We are very appreciative of the work done by the state to identify this solution,” Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and CEO Hilton Raethel said. “Our hospitals continue to be very full, and we continue to have significant numbers of staff out because of exposure to COVID-19, or with COVID-19 symptoms. This will allow us to bring in the staff we need to continue to ensure that our patients and community receive the care they need.”

The rules are effective immediately for a period of not longer than 120 days, or about four months. The nurse’s authorization to practice shall be valid for a period of 90 days, about three months, after the required confirmation.

To view the emergency rules, visit cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/files/2022/08/2022-Nurses-Emergency-Rules.pdf.

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