Travel nurses to face tighter rules in California

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Out-of-state nurses will no longer be allowed to work in California without a temporary or permanent California nursing license as of March 31, according to nurse.org.

Travel nurses from other states have been working in California during the COVID-19 pandemic, per policies and procedures adopted by the state Emergency Medical Services Authority, but March 31 is the expiration date for that provision.

With the pending nurse licensure changes, the California Board of Nursing is encouraging travel nurses to apply for a California license as soon as possible if they want to continue working in the state, according to nurse.org.

The board's criteria for a license in California includes holding a current and active license in another state, U.S. territory or Canada. Other criteria include having completed an educational program meeting all California requirements and having passed the National Council Licensure Examination or the State Board Test Pool Examination.

According to the board, once nurses apply for a permanent license, they may apply online for a temporary license to continue to work in California pending issuance of a permanent license.

The nurse licensure changes slated for later this year in California come as COVID-19 is surging across the U.S. New daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the country have risen 84 percent over the last two weeks, with California seeing a 149 percent increase during that same time period, according to HHS data tracked by The New York Times.

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