Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed an executive order that will allow drug consultants, physical therapists and other health professionals to practice in their field, even if they are not licensed in Nebraska, to try to address a labor shortage that has worsened during COVID-19. pandemic.
The order, signed Wednesday, is part of an effort to increase the number of healthcare professionals by easing state licensing requirements. It will be in effect until the end of the year.
The governor’s administration said the order is a follow-up to his decision to declare a “hospital staffing emergency” in August due to the large number of non-viral patients delaying treatment at the onset of the pandemic.
One part of the order allows alcohol and drug consultants, speech pathologists, nursing home administrators, and others to work in Nebraska even if they have not been licensed by the state, provided they have a license in good standing in another state. It also allows expired or expired licenses to make renewals easier by filing an application with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition, Ricketts suspended continuing qualification requirements for physical therapists and others to make it easier for them to stay at work.
Marcia Mueting, CEO of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, said the order temporarily suspends a state law that limits the number of pharmacy students and technicians a pharmacist can lead to three at a time.
Muting said the pharmacist workload has skyrocketed due to patients receiving influenza vaccines in addition to COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. She said the industry was struggling with a shortage of pharmacists even before the pandemic, and some retailers are offering hiring bonuses of up to $ 50,000 to try to attract candidates.
“Everyone is very stretched out,” she said.