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Please contact the PHENSA office at 717.963.7303 or email Alexis at alexis@thinkgraphtech.com if you would like us to share an announcement.


 

Pennsylvania Issues 30 Licensing Waivers Allowing Professionals to Respond to COVID-19 Emergency
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of State announced today that it has issued 30 licensing waivers since March 17 to allow licensed professionals, facilities and trainees to respond to the COVID-19 disaster declaration.

“During this unprecedented emergency, the Department of State is committed to reducing as many burdens as possible for licensees to practice and serve Pennsylvanians,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said.  “We’ve included a wide spectrum of professionals in these temporary waivers, recognizing that each professional we can empower to help is another critical part of the solution to ending this crisis.”

Among the changes in place during the COVID-19 emergency:

  • Licensed health care practitioners may provide services via telemedicine
  • Temporary licenses for out-of-state health care practitioners will be expedited
  • Extended all upcoming license renewal deadlines including healthcare and non-healthcare professionals
  • Recently retired health care practitioners may temporarily reactivate their licenses more easily and without reactivation fees
  • Suspended certain in-person continuing-education requirements to allow increased use of online or distance learning
  • Authorized the use of electronic notarization and loosened restrictions on in person requirements for notaries handling estate documents such as wills, living wills, and powers of attorney, as well as other types
  • Extended filing deadlines for charitable nonprofit organizations

“The Department of State is working with the governor’s office, the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services to identify additional requirements that can be suspended to give licensed professionals and others the flexibility they need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Secretary Boockvar said.

The Department of State website will be updated regularly as additional requirement waiver information becomes available. Licensees with questions should contact their state licensing board via the email addresses on the Department of State website.

 

 


 

UPDATED DIRECTIONS RELATED TO THE SUSPENSION OF PROVISIONS OF THE PROFESSIONAL AND PRACTICAL NURSING LAWS AND THE STATE BOARD OF NURSING REGULATIONS DUE TO COVID-19

 

On March 18, 21, 25, 27, 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

March 25, 2020 Press Release

March 27, 2020 Press Release

 

Follow the directions below for each of the suspended provisions:

 

RENEWAL and REACTIVATION

  • Registered Nurse (RN), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) licenses and CRNP Prescriptive Authority approval (NPPA) renewal deadlines have been extended from April 30, 2020, to July 29, 2020.  The Practical Nurse (PN) license renewal deadline has been extended from June 30, 2020, to September 28, 2020.

LICENSEE ACTION NEEDED:

ü  Online renewal for RNs, CNSs, CRNPs and NPPAs will continue to be available in PALS at www.pals.pa.gov through July 29, 2020.

ü  While the status of the RN and CNS licenses, CRNP certificates and NPPA approvals will remain ACTIVE in PALS through July 29, 2020, the expiration dates will continue to reflect April 30, 2020.

ü  In addition to reflecting ACTIVE status in PALS, April 30, 2020 will also be reflected through NURSYS at www.nursys.com.

ü  The LPN renewal has not yet opened in PALS.

  • RNs, CNSs and CRNPs whose licenses/certifications have been expired or inactive for LESS than FIVE years can apply for reactivation without needing to complete any continuing education (including Child Abuse) or paying any fees.  PNs may also apply to reactivate licenses that are expired or inactive for LESS than FIVE years without completing Child Abuse continuing education and paying any fees.

 

LICENSEE ACTION NEEDED:

  • Specific COVID-19 Reactivation Applications are available at dos.pa.gov/nurse.

ü  Verify your license expiration date at www.pals.pa.gov/verify before applying with the COVID-19 Reactivation Application.

ü  Email the completed COVID-19 Reactivation Application to the Board at ST-Nurse@pa.gov.  In the subject line indicate COVID-19 Reactivation Application.

ü  If your license has been expired or inactive for FIVE or MORE years, there are no waivers at this time.  Go to www.pa.gov/nurse to obtain a Reactivation Application.  Certificates of completion for the required continuing education must accompany the application AND reactivation and biennial renewal fees must be paid.  Mail the application, fee and any documents to the Board.

 

TEMPORARY PRACTICE PERMITS

  • RN, LPN, and Graduate Nurses do not have to apply for extensions of their RN, LPN, or graduate 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.

LICENSEE ACTION NEEDED:

ü  None.  Permits with expiration dates between March 21, 2020, and June 19, 2020, are being extended automatically for 90 days.

ü  While the permits will remain ACTIVE in PALS through the 90-day extension, the expiration date will continue to reflect the original expiration date.

ü  Graduate permit holders must be supervised by an RN.  Supervision requires that the RN be physically present in the area or unit where the permit holder is practicing.

  • Nursing school graduates who:
    • have been unable to sit for the licensure examinations due to cancellation of the examinations because of COVID-19,
    • do not already have or never held a graduate permit, and
    • desire to assist in the COVID-19 response

can apply for and practice with a graduate permit.  The Board is aware that a limited number of test sites have opened or will be opening in the United States shortly; however, because the number of graduates who may be able to test will be limited, a graduate permit is necessary in order to practice.

 

March 18, 2020 Press Release

Pearson VUE Website

COVID-19 Impact to NCLEX Candidates FAQs

 

 GRADUATE ACTION NEEDED:

ü  Graduate permit holders must be supervised by an RN.  Supervision requires that the RN be physically present in the area or unit where the permit holder is practicing.

ü  Permits expire if the graduate permit holder fails the NCLEX®.

ü  Graduates who have failed the NCLEX® previously are not eligible for a graduate permit.

 

RNs and LPNs LICENSED OUT OF STATE

  • Out-of-state RNs and LPNs who do not hold Pennsylvania licenses but desire to assist in the COVID-19 response may apply for a temporary practice permit and license.

OUT-OF-STATE LICENSEE ACTION NEEDED:

  • Apply for a temporary practice permit and license at pals.pa.gov.

Ø  Use the Application Checklist and answer the questions to apply for Licensure by Endorsement.

Ø In the Application, select YES to the question asking, “Do you want to obtain a Temporary Practice Permit?”

Ø Upon evaluation of your application, a Temporary Practice Permit will be emailed.

  • A criminal background check will only be required prior to the issuance of a license.
  • Since some English language proficiency examinations have become unavailable due to the COVID-19 emergency, the requirement for English language proficiency testing for RNs and LPNs licensed out of state has been temporarily waived.

APPLICANT ACTION NEEDED:

ü  When the Emergency Declaration is lifted, if the applicant’s nursing program was not conducted in English, proof of passing a Board-approved English language proficiency examination will be required in order to be issued a license.

 

LPNs

  • The requirement to demonstrate 1500 hours of education was waived for LPN licensure by endorsement where the LPN holds a current license in another state and graduated from a Board-approved PN program.
  • The requirement to demonstrate 1500 hours of education was waived for LPN licensure by examination if the applicant graduated from a Board-approved PN program.

APPLICANT ACTION NEEDED:

ü  Apply for a license at www.pals.pa.gov.

ü  An official transcript, received directly from the PN Program, must be submitted to the Board.

 

CRNP CERTIFICATION

  • 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 equivalency requirement.

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

  • Apply for certification at www.pals.pa.gov.
  • An official transcript, received directly from the Program, must be submitted to the Board
  • Since the Board-recognized national CRNP certification examinations are becoming unavailable during the COVID-19 emergency, applicants will not have to hold national certification in a Board-recognized specialty.

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

  • Apply for certification at www.pals.pa.gov.
  • CRNPs will be required to hold National certification AFTER the Emergency Declaration has ended.
  • CRNP certifications will not be renewed without evidence of current national certification AFTER the Emergency Declaration has ended.
  • The Board will apply the same procedure for recertifications.

 

COLLABORATIVE AGREEMENTS and PRESCRIPTIVE AUTHORITY

  • Additional Collaborative Agreements within the same Hospital/Health System – If a CRNP has a collaborative agreement with a physician in a hospital or health system, the CRNP may collaborate with other collaborating physician(s) within the same hospital or health system without written and signed collaborative agreements throughout the Emergency Declaration.

 

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

  • None unless the CRNP desires to prescribe and/or dispense.
  • If a CRNP has one active Pennsylvania Prescriptive Authority Collaborative Agreement (PACA), the CRNP is permitted to collaborate with a new Pennsylvania-licensed collaborating physician for up to 6 months from the date the prescriptive authority application is submitted to the Board.  Paper applications can be downloaded from the Board’s website at www.pa.gov/nurse.  (See “Additional PACAs” below for more information.)
  • Collaboration with Out-of-State Physicians – A CRNP may also collaborate with physicians who are licensed in other states.

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

  • None unless the CRNP desires to prescribe and/or dispense.
  • If a CRNP has one active Pennsylvania PACA, the CRNP is permitted to collaborate with a new Pennsylvania-licensed collaborating physician for up to 6 months from the date the prescriptive authority application is submitted to the Board.  Paper applications can be downloaded from the Board’s website at www.pa.gov/nurse.  (See “Additional PACAs” below for more information.)
  • Collaborative agreements between the physician and the CRNP are required but are not filed with the Board.
  • Initial Applications for Prescriptive Authority – CRNP initial application for prescriptive authority will require the listing of only one collaborative physician and one substitute physician rather than the entire list of substitutes.

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

  • Initial applications for prescriptive authority can be downloaded from the Board’s website at www.pa.gov/nurse.
  • Additional Applications for PACAs – If a CRNP has one active Pennsylvania PACA, the CRNP is permitted to collaborate with a new Pennsylvania-licensed collaborating physician for up to 6 months from the date the prescriptive authority application is submitted to the Board.

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

  • Although Board approval is not required in order to begin practicing under the new PACA, the CRNP must apply for an additional prescriptive authority. Paper applications can be downloaded from the Board’s website at  www.pa.gov/nurse.
  • The CRNP and new collaborating physician must hold current unrestricted licenses in order to practice after submission of the application but without Board approval.
  • Applications where the physician’s license is on probation or where the physician holds an Active-Retired license must be reviewed by the Board for approval prior to being able to prescribe or dispense.
  • Only one collaborative physician and one substitute physician is required.

 

  • Changes to PACAs – Board approval for the following changes is not required once the change agreement is executed between the physician and the CRNP:
  • addition or deletion of drug categories,
  • changes in controlled substances,
  • deletion or addition of substitute physicians,
  • changes to the circumstances and how often a physician will see a patient, and/or
  • termination of the PACA.

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

  • Although Board approval is not required in order to enact the changes listed above, CRNPs must submit the changes to prescriptive authority to the Board within 60 days of the change.  Paper Change Forms can be downloaded from the Board’s website at www.pa.gov/nurse.
  • Except for changes involving controlled substance prescribing authority, the Board will not acknowledge receipt of or approve the Change Forms during the Emergency Declaration.  After the Emergency Declaration is over, the Board will process the Change Forms.
  • Scope of Practice – 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 are also permitted to prescribe drugs outside of the established formulary.

CRNP ACTION NEEDED:

ü  None.  CRNPs holding active prescriptive authority approval may prescribe drugs outside of the formulary for that prescriptive authority approval during the Emergency Declaration.

ü  None.  CRNPs may practice outside their Board-designated clinical specialty area during the Emergency Declaration.

 

CRNA

  • During the COVID-19 emergency, CRNAs may administer anesthesia in cooperation with a physician, instead of only with a surgeon or dentist.
  • Since there are no certification examinations available during the emergency, the requirement that CRNA graduates need to ask the Board for authority to continue to practice prior to taking the first available examination was waived.

CRNA ACTION NEEDED:

ü  None during the Emergency Declaration.  After the Emergency Declaration, the CRNA graduate will need to take the first available examination.

 

CNS

  • If a CNS has an active license in another state and current national certification, demonstration of educational equivalency will not be required during the Emergency Declaration.

CNS ACTION NEEDED:

  • Go to www.pals.pa.gov to apply for CNS certification.
  • An official transcript, received directly from the Program, must be submitted to the Board.

 

TELEMEDICINE

  • In-state and out-of-state health care practitioners are permitted to treat patients via telemedicine during the emergency.

TELEMEDICINE PRACTITIONER ACTION NEEDED:

ü  Refer to www.dos.pa.gov to obtain additional details and the requirements that need to be fulfilled.

 

Please note that the Department of State is working with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services to identify regulations and requirements that can be waived to give medical providers and facilities the flexibility they need to respond to COVID-19.  The Department of State website and this document will be updated regularly as additional waiver information becomes available.

 


 

Statement Regarding Nurse Practitioner Students and Direct Care Clinical Hours

Released: March 23, 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the undersigned organizations reaffirm that all nurse practitioner (NP) students are required to complete a minimum of 500 supervised direct patient care clinical hours over the course of the NP program. In addition, clinical hours are distributed to support competency development that represents the needs of the chosen population. If additional clinical hours are required by the institution or a certification organization (above the minimum 500 supervised direct patient care clinical hours), these additional hours may be completed as simulation, if students have completed the direct patient care clinical hours that are necessary and required for them to be fully prepared to practice as an NP in the population focus area.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, we realize that programs are assessing the status of course and clinical offerings. Based on these assessments, programs are making appropriate adjustments that ensure students graduate with a quality NP education and are fully prepared for certification examinations and NP practice. This statement is being released in response to the questions that we have received related to this topic.

According to the 2016 Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs, 5th Edition, A Report of the National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education. Chapter III: Curriculum, Criterion III.E, “the NP program/track has a minimum of 500 supervised direct patient care clinical hours overall. Clinical hours are distributed to support competency development that represents the population needs” (NTFC, page 12).

The elaboration section of Criterion III.E further states that “simulation is recommended to augment the clinical learning experiences, particularly to address the high-risk low-frequency incidents; however, simulation experiences may only be counted as clinical hours over and above the minimum 500 direct patient care clinical hours. Programs are encouraged to track the use of simulation to enhance the clinical experience.” Further, “clinical experiences and time spent in each experience are varied and distributed in a way that prepares the students to provide care to the populations served, which may include telehealth and international direct care experiences” (NTFC, page 12).

If an NP student has completed the minimum 500 supervised direct patient care clinical hours that are necessary and required to be fully prepared to practice as an NP in that particular population focus area, and the faculty has ensured that the student has attained the end of program competencies and met program outcomes, then any additional clinical hours may be waived by the educational institution. The institution may also provide accommodations so that the additional clinical hours (above and beyond the minimum 500) may be completed in a different clinical setting or through the use of simulation.

If students have not had the range of necessary clinical experiences needed to be fully prepared and practice competently as NPs, even if they have completed 500 supervised direct patient care clinical hours, the educational institution is responsible for making arrangements for them to complete their education. For some students, this may mean they will need to extend their education and postpone graduation. The educational institution is responsible for working with each student on a case by case basis to determine the gaps in the program content/courses/clinical hours. The educational institution is responsible for providing clear direction and guidance so students understand how modifications/adjustments may impact them.

The NP certification organizations will continue to require a minimum of 500 supervised direct patient care clinical hours in a population focus for eligibility to sit for the initial NP certification examinations. Collectively we agree that adhering to the above statement is necessary to ensure a quality educational experience for NP students and is in the best interest of institutions, students, public consumers, and employers.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing ACEN Board of Commissioners

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Critical-Care Nurse-Certification Corporation

American Nurses Credentialing Center

Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association

National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Certification Corporation

National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties

NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

Reference:

National Task Force, (2016). The National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education, Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs, 5th Edition. Washington, DC. https://www.nonpf.org/page/14.

 


 

Please click the link to see important information regarding the Covid-19 from the National League for Nursing.

 

http://www.nln.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/message_to_the_nursing_education_community.pdf?sfvrsn=2

 


With permission from CaseNetwork, please see the following:

CaseNetwork is has created a FREE COVID online case scenario for programs to use during this unprecedented time. This one is a 69 year old patient and is actually very good. Dr. Jeff Levy has sent this out across the country to over 9000 residency programs and institutions for free use and access. Please feel free to use if you think it can be helpful. SEE BELOW:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
CaseNetwork believes it is our public service duty as an online health education company to provide free, online COVID-19 education to ensure you are equipped with the latest knowledge needed to care for your patients and yourself during this dynamic pandemic.

This “virtual patient” case is presented as a simulated patient experience and goes over the coronavirus differential diagnosis, important diagnostic tests, management including infectious disease precautions in the hospital, and home discharge protocols.

The case follows CDC and WHO guidelines and will be updated weekly to ensure it includes the most current recommendations. Click on the link to access the case – http://casenetwork.com/webcontent/covid/index.html#/, or go to http://casenetwork.com/ .

To our safety and health!

Jeffrey Levy, MD
CEO, CaseNetwork

For more information, please contact us:
E-mail: info@casenetwork.com
Phone: 800-654-1745, X106

 


 

Congratulations to Rita Trofino! 

               

Rita Trofino, DNP, MNEd, RN, Associate Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Education and Nursing Department Chair at Saint Francis University, was elected to serve a two-year term on AACN’s Nominating Committee. She has served in a number of volunteer roles at AACN, including on the Steering Committee of the Organizational Leadership Network, the Membership Committee, as a mentor in the New Dean Mentor Program, and as a site visitor for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. With over 25 years of experience in academic nursing, Dr. Trofino also has served the larger healthcare community through her volunteer work with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Nursing Schools Association, Cambria Regional Chamber, and the American Heart Association, where she has served as a volunteer CPR and First Aid instructor for over 40 years.

 


 

For Immediate Release

AACN Applauds Bipartisan Commitment to Support
Investments in Nursing Education and Practice

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2019 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) applauds the introduction of the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019 by House Nursing Caucus Co-Chairs, Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI); House Nursing Caucus Vice Co-Chairs, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rodney Davis (R-IL); and Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), David McKinley (R-WV), and Lauren Underwood (D-IL).

Keeping America healthy demands continued investment in the nursing workforce, including those that provide direct patient care and the faculty who educate them. With four million registered nurses nationwide, support for these Title VIII programs is critical to creating, maintaining, and promoting high-quality patient-centered care across settings, including in rural and underserved areas. For more than five decades, Title VIII has been essential in bolstering nursing education, recruitment, retention, and faculty preparation. This legislation would reauthorize the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) through Fiscal Year 2024 and align them with current trends in the profession.
“As the proud husband of a nurse and co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, I know that nurses are truly the backbone of our nation’s healthcare system,” said Rep. Dave Joyce. “I’m proud to re-introduce this bipartisan legislation to address our nation’s pending nursing shortage and ensure those who are interested in pursuing a career in nursing have access to the high-quality education and training opportunities necessary to do so.”
“AACN commends the bipartisan efforts of our champions in the House to advance this vital legislation,” said Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of AACN’s Board of Directors. “As a recipient of Title VIII funding myself, I recognize how powerful these programs are in shaping future nurses and in providing educational opportunities to ensure exceptional nursing care.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Co-Chair of the House Nursing Caucus, said: “Too often, nurses are unsung heroes who provide lifesaving care to our communities in the most trying and stressful times. As our country faces an aging population, an increase in chronic diseases, an ever-worsening opioid epidemic, and so much more, our healthcare workers must have the training and support needed to care for our people. Our bipartisan legislation will help ensure that nurses in Hawai’i and across the country have the education, training, and support they need to continue their service.”
This legislation is a long-term investment that will help academic nursing leaders to meet the healthcare challenges of today and in the future. “For many of our member schools, these programs serve as a lifeline by attracting new nurses and faculty into the profession,” said AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman. “AACN is delighted to work with our Congressional champions to see the successful passage of this legislation in the 116th Congress.”
AACN believes that workforce development and the creation of evidence-based research to transform care delivery is paramount to meeting America’s healthcare needs. The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019 propels the profession forward and elevates the impact that nursing has on improving the health of the nation.

AACN joins the Nursing Community, a coalition of 61 national nursing organizations, in support of this legislation. This legislation has a clear goal – establishing funding opportunities for the future generations of nurses. For more information on the Title VIII programs, AACN advocacy work, and our policy statements, see AACN’s Policy and Advocacy web page.


The accuracy of state NCLEX-RN© passing standards for nursing programs

http://www.nurseeducationtoday.com/article/S0260-6917(17)30050-3/abstract


New Dean Toolkit : contact Rita Trofino at rtrofino@francis.edu with any questions or for more information.

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/membership/new-dean-resources


Below announcement has been shared by Anne Fink, Villanova University:
Dear ANHE Nurses,
I am so excited to announce that Environmental Health in Nursing is now live on our website.
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) is delighted to announce the publication of Environmental Health in Nursing – an open access textbook for nurses and other health professionals.  Leading environmental health nursing experts have joined together to share their environmental health knowledge, expertise and experiences.
The book offers essential information for nurses new to the topics as well as those with advanced environmental health experience. What is so exciting about this book is that our electronic format provides direct links to authoritative resources such as the EPA, ToxNet and WHO.  In addition it provides ease of accessing information because of the electronic search features.  We want this to be a living document and we welcome ideas for new topics and potential authors in subsequent editions.
Thank you to our amazing and incredibly hardworking editors –  Jeanne Leffers, Claudia M. Smith, Ruth McDermott-Levy, Katie Huffling, and Barbara Sattler. This truly was a labor of love. And thank you to all of our contributors your breadth of knowledge and dedication to environmental health nursing is inspiring.
I hope this e-Textbook will become the go-to resource for nurses, in the coming months and years ahead, as the work of environmental health nurses becomes even more vital to the health of our nation.
Take care,
Katie Huffling, MS, RN, CNM
ANHE Director of Programs