Hawaii emergency licensing rules approved

Governor David Ige this week approved and signed into effect emergency rules authorizing out-of-state nurses to temporarily practice in Hawaiʻi upon meeting certain requirements without applying for and obtaining a license.

Enacted through the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the rules amend Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules Chapter 16-89, to allow for nurses to practice temporarily by endorsement and submission of a list of required information from a healthcare entity.

Each healthcare 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.

“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,” said Gov. David Ige. “This action addresses the immediate peril to public health and ensures that medical professionals may focus on providing critical care to patients.” 

“We thank the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Department of Health and Governor Ige for understanding the urgent need for additional healthcare staff in Hawaiʻi,” said Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and CEO Hilton Raethel.

“We are very appreciative of the work done by the state to identify this solution. 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,” he said.

The rules are effective immediately for a period of not longer than one hundred twenty (120) days. The nurse’s authorization to practice shall be valid for a period of ninety (90) days after the required confirmation.

The emergency rules are available here.

This press release was provided by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.