Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Ige Approves Emergency Rules For Out-of-State Nurses to Temporarily Practice in Hawaiʻi

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Nurses from outside Hawai’i will be allowed to practice in the state to help alleviate the continued strain on the health care system from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. David Ige

Gov. David Ige on Thursday, Aug. 11, approved and signed emergency rules authorizing out-of-state nurses to temporarily practice in the state upon meeting certain requirements without applying for and obtaining a license. The emergency rules are effective immediately for no longer than 120 days. A nurse’s authorization to practice shall be valid for 90 days after the required confirmation.

“The COVID-19 virus continues to cause a strain on the state’s health care system, with hospitals throughout our communities reporting serious staffing challenges and conditions,” Ige said in a press release. “This action addresses the immediate peril to public health and ensures that medical professionals may focus on providing critical care to patients.”

Enacted through the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the rules amend Hawaiʻi administrative rules to allow for nurses to practice temporarily by endorsement and submission of a list of required information from a health care entity. Each health care 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.

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“We thank the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the (state) Department of Health and Gov. Ige for understanding the urgent need for additional health care staff in Hawaiʻi,” Healthcare Association of Hawai’i President and CEO Hilton Raethel said in the press release. “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.”

The emergency rules can be read online.

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