Last week, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation extending until January 1, 2023 the temporary professional licenses of more than 2,000 critical health care workers.
“Throughout the pandemic, doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been at the frontlines. When we needed them, they were there,” said Governor Ducey. “Whether they just graduated with their health care degrees, returned to the workforce or came from another state, these caretakers and everyday heroes stepped up. Today’s common sense legislation ensures more nurses and health care workers remain employed and means more of our hospitals and other health care facilities keep their staff.”
Senate Bill 1309, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix, extends those licenses until January 1, 2023 to provide licensing boards with time to process full licenses or reissue licenses.
“This is a simple, but necessary move. If these licenses were to expire, our critical health professionals would need to scramble to get relicensed,” said Sen. Barto. “This proactive bill ensures a timely renewal process to keep more people employed. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his quick response and support of the health care industry.”
Of the more than 2,000 health care professionals with a temporary license, 1,200 are nurses. The license extension comes at a critical time when nearly a third of Arizona hospitals are experiencing critical nursing shortages.
“With an existing shortage of nurses, now is not the time to let temporary health professional licenses expire,” Dawna Cato, CEO of the Arizona Nurses Association. “The Arizona Nurses Association fully supports the signing of this bill into law, as it helps the board process license renewals and will keep more of our frontline nurses where we need them – taking care of us. We are grateful to Governor Ducey for his swift action on this issue.”