WISCONSIN — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Wisconsin, the state has received some much-needed relief from out-of-state healthcare workers.
Obtaining an occupancy license normally requires an extended amount of time and money, but Wisconsin has reduced both of those factors in an effort to provide more immediate relief. Through legislation and other executive orders, the state allowed those healthcare workers who are licensed, and in good standing in another state, to receive a temporary license in Wisconsin during the pandemic, according to the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Badger Institute on Tuesday.
According to the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), Wisconsin received 1,177 applications to practice in Wisconsin from April 1 and Oct. 31. Of those 1,117 applicants, 937 were given temporary clearance to help in Wisconsin.
In addition to the 937 who were granted clearance, the DSPS also accepted 556 applications from workers who will practice telehealth in the state. One of those helping virtually was Dr. Marni Feuerman of Florida, who heard back from the DSPS in about a week after applying to help in Wisconsin.
“I was impressed with how efficient and easy the process was, and I hope this is the beginning of finding a way to loosen these restrictions if someone has a valid license in another state and there’s a need elsewhere,” Dr. Feuerman said in a statement from the Badger Institute.
Among those who received temporary licenses, there were 245 doctors, 109 nurses, 105 licensed clinical social workers, 99 psychologists, 78 licensed professional counselors, 67 advanced practice nurse prescribers, 48 pharmacists, 29 physician assistants and a handful of other health care professions. All have the option to help in person or virtually.