ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday announced that the state is taking additional steps to increase nursing personnel, providing hospitals with maximum flexibility to mitigate staffing shortages.
“This week, Maryland reported the nation’s lowest COVID-19 case rate, and we continue to withstand the Delta variant surge better than just about any other state,” said Governor Hogan. “While our hospitalizations remain well below all of our pandemic surge capacity triggers, we are taking proactive steps to maximize the ability of our hospitals to increase their nursing workforce.”
Out-of-State Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses
Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader has issued a notice stating that registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who hold a current active license in any other state or jurisdiction may render nursing care. This action is supported by the Maryland Board of Nursing.
“We have worked closely with our hospitals, healthcare associations, and many others in the state on this solution that will further our ability to continue to provide quality care to Marylanders,” said Secretary Schrader. “Nurses and student nurses have been invaluable in our fight against COVID-19 and so much more and these steps will ensure that hospitals can use all available nursing solutions.”
Early Exit for Nursing Graduates
Maryland Higher Education Commission Secretary James D. Fielder has issued a request to the leaders of all state nursing programs to once again allow the earliest graduation possible for qualified nursing students.
Secretary Schrader has sent a letter to the state’s hospital and nursing home leaders outlining additional flexibilities they may use:
- Nursing Students. State health officials encourage all hospital leaders to work with their local nursing programs to ensure that hospitals can use student nurses to the maximum extent feasible. (Section 8-301(c)(1) of the Health Occupations Article)
- Nurse Licensure Compact. State health officials encourage all hospital leaders to actively recruit nursing staff from Nurse Licensure Compact states to increase the supply of nursing personnel. The compact allows nurses to have one license but the ability to practice in multiple states.
- Certified Nursing Assistants. Nursing students may perform the tasks of Certified Nursing Assistants with supervision. (Section 8-6A-02(b)(3) of the Health Occupations Article)
- Physician Assistants. Physician assistant students may practice without a license. (Section 15-301(f)(1) of the Health Occupations Article)
Unlicensed Individuals. A physician may delegate to unlicensed individual aspects of care that are necessary for emergency COVID-19 treatment as determined by their clinical judgment. (Section 14-306(a) of the Health Occupations Article)