TRENTON, NJ – The rapid expansion of medical care facilities to bolster the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic means New Jersey will need more qualified doctors, PAs (Physician Assistants) and nurses, many of whom have retired or let their licenses lapse.
On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy reached out to those health care professionals with an urgent call to come back to work.
The governor signed Executive Order No. 112, authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to temporarily reactivate the licenses of recently retired health care professionals and grant temporary licenses to doctors licensed in foreign countries.
The executive order also temporarily permits certain health care professionals to perform acts outside of their ordinary scope of practice and grants broad civil immunity to health care professionals and facilities providing services in support of New Jersey’s COVID-19 response efforts who are acting in good faith.
“My Administration is working tirelessly with our hospital systems and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to expand bed capacities, reopen closed hospitals, and erect field medical stations to prepare for additional COVID-19 cases,” Murphy said. “We need trained, experienced medical personnel to ensure proper staffing as we build out this new capacity, which is why we have put out the call to retired health care professionals to join our fight and support our existing workforce. By signing this executive order, we are removing bureaucratic roadblocks to quickly bring more health care professionals into our efforts and provide additional flexibility and protections for our front line responders to aid in New Jersey’s response to COVID-19.”
The executive order supplements the State’s existing health care workforce by:
- Authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to temporarily reactivate the licensees of healthcare professionals previously licensed in the State within the last five years. This will enable doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who have recently retired or have allowed their licenses to lapse to temporarily reactivate their license.
- Authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to grant temporary medical licenses to doctors who are licensed and in good standing in foreign countries.
- Temporarily waiving certain scope of practice restrictions on Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) related to physician collaboration, including a rule requiring that an APN enter into a joint protocol with a collaborating physician and a rule requiring APNs to obtain authorization from a collaborating physician in order to dispense narcotic drugs.
T- emporarily waiving certain scope of practice restrictions on Physician Assistants (PAs) related to physician supervision, including a rule requiring PAs to obtain physician authorization prior to prescribing a controlled dangerous substance.