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COVID-19 Updates March 24, 2020

Tuesday, March 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Maher
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Board of Nursing Update and Further Clarification on Suspended Regulations:

Please see below for directions related to the licensure requirement waivers put into place on temporary permits, renewals, and CRNP applications. Please share these throughout your networks to relevant members. Additional waivers will be released through the day and week to help continue to provide licensed healthcare providers with as much flexibility as possible as we continue to confront the challenges posed by COVID-19:

Directions to State Board of Nursing Applicants and Licenses Regarding Temporary Permits, Renewals and CRNP Applications

On March 18 and March 21, 2020, Governor Wolf suspended various provisions of the Professional Nursing Law and the Practical Nurse Law as well as the Board’s regulations enabling applicants and licensees to practice during the COVID-19 emergency declaration.

March 18, 2020 Press Release
March 21, 2020 Press Release

Follow the directions below for each of the suspended provisions:

  • Temporary nursing practice permits and graduate permits will be extended beyond one year and extension fees will be waived.     
    The Board will process the extension automatically without the need for permit holders to take any action. 
  • Registered Nurses will not have to apply for extensions of their RN graduate or temporary permits. All temporary and graduate permits that would normally expire during the next 90 days will be automatically extended for an additional 90 days.  
    The Board will process the extension automatically without the need for permit holders to take any action. 
  • Practical Nurses will not have to apply for extensions of their PN graduate or temporary permits. All temporary and graduate permits that would normally expire during the next 90 days will be automatically extended for an additional 90 days.
    The Board will process the extension automatically without the need for permit holders to take any action. 
  • Registered Nurses (RNs), Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNPs) and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) can continue to care for patients if their licenses are currently “in renewal” and set to expire on April 30, 2020. These licenses will be extended for an additional three months until July 31, 2020.   
    The Board will process the extension automatically without the need for licensees to take any action. 
  • Nursing school graduates who: 
    • have been issued “Authorizations to Test” by the Board, and
    • have been unable to sit for the licensure examinations due to cancellation of the examinations because of COVID-19, and
    • do not already have a graduate permit

can immediately apply for a graduate permit so they can assist in the COVID-19 response. The graduate permit authorizes graduate nurses to practice under supervision of a registered nurse. Supervision requires that a registered nurse is physically present in the area or unit where the graduate nurse is practicing. The permits expire if the graduate permit holder fails the examination.

March 18, 2020 Press Release
Pearson VUE Website
COVID-19 Impact to NCLEX Candidates FAQs

  • More than 14,000 CRNPs can practice to their full capabilities and assist in the COVID-19 response without the usual requirement that they practice within a specific clinical specialty. They also are allowed to prescribe drugs outside the established formulary. 
    CRNPs will not have to take any action with the Board in order to practice outside of the specific Board-recognized clinical specialty during the period of the emergency declaration. Additionally, the Board will grant prescriptive authorities for drugs outside of the formulary during the period of the emergency declaration. 

PCNP NOTE: Please submit on the PCNP website if you need a change to your prescriptive writing authority

PCNP will send a list of names of PCNP members to the BON of those waiting for the approval of a change to their prescriptive authority, including prescribing drugs outside of the formulary. This will help to expedite your approval process with the BON for your prescription-writing authority.

  • On a CRNP’s initial application for prescription-writing authority, the State Board of Nursing will require only one collaborative physician and one substitute physician, rather than the entire list of substitutes.
    CRNPs will not need to take any action, the Board will grant prescriptive authority with one collaborating physician and one substitute.
  • Since the Board-recognized national CRNP certification examinations are becoming unavailable during the coronavirus emergency, CRNPs will not have to hold national certification in a particular specialty.
    The Board is aware that certification exams for CRNPs may not be available during the emergency; therefore, national certification will not be required during the emergency. The Board will apply the same procedure for recertifications.
  • Out-of-state applicants for certification as a CRNP by endorsement in Pennsylvania, who are active licensees of other states and have national certification, will not have to meet the educational equivalence requirement.
    The CRNP applicant will not need to take any action. The CRNP will be granted if licensure and national certification are current.    

PCNP NOTE: If you are waiting for other types of approvals from the Board of Nursing, please submit here to give us your name and the type of approval you are waiting for from the Board of Nursing. We will provide that list to the Board of Nursing.


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