Improvements to Pennsylvania’s nurse licensing process will allow new nursing school graduates to more quickly obtain a temporary practice permit as they study for their nursing exams, the state recently announced.
Temporary practice permits allow graduates of the commonwealth’s nursing schools to begin their careers in health care while their applications for full initial licensure are processed by the State Board of Nursing. Full initial licensure requires approximately eight to 10 weeks, and TPPs allow nursing graduates to work in supervised settings while they get ready to take the National Council Licensure Examination, one of the most important requirements for registered nurse licensure.
“I am pleased to report that 570 nursing graduates who have been waiting for their TPPs have received them,” Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh M. Chapman said in a release. “This means they will be able to join the health care workforce under supervision and begin providing patients with needed care. We see this improvement as one way to help ease the nursing shortage across Pennsylvania.”
Previously, applicants’ criminal histories were reviewed before a temporary practice permit was issued. Now, board staff will grant a TPP upon confirmation of the applicant’s graduation from a Pennsylvania nursing school. Criminal history records will still be reviewed prior to a nursing license being issued.
Also, the processing time for TPPs has been reduced because of greater automation.
Chapman added: “This permanent change to the TPP approval process came about for multiple reasons, including the feedback we received from nursing schools, health care systems and other nurse employers, as well as from nursing applicants themselves.”