A new law in Pennsylvania makes it easier for foreign nurses to get certified in the state, expanding the potential pool of health-care workers as the state confronts a nursing shortage.
Act 22 updates nursing license requirements by allowing the State Board of Nursing to approve graduates of international nursing programs to sit for the registered nursing examination. So long as the education they received outside the United States meets the state board’s standards, graduates can get licensed much quicker than before.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is suing the Biden administration again over its COVID-19 mandates, this time leading a coalition of other Attorneys General against the mandate for health care workers, known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mandate. He took the lead along with the Attorneys General of Montana and Louisiana in a 69-page complaint, which was joined by 13 other states.
Brnovich said in a statement, “The unlawful mandate for facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is ‘causing havoc in the healthcare labor market’ across the nation – especially in rural communities – and does not account for the pandemic’s changing circumstances.”
Pennsylvania Republicans highlighted legislation Wednesday that is moving through the General Assembly to direct $225 million to recruit and retain health care workers for hospitals and behavioral service providers.
Leaders of the House and Senate gathered on the lieutenant governor’s balcony between the two chambers for a news conference on House Bill 253, sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga.
The legislation allocates $225 million to hospitals and behavioral and psychiatric service providers for retention and recruitment programs for staff. The bill is targeted specifically at nurses and other hospital employees, and it excludes hospital executives, administration, contracted staff and physicians.
Ten Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Biden administration seeking to block its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.
According to The Hill, the lawsuit is being spearheaded by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who called the mandate “unconstitutional and unlawful.”
Private employers around the country are implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, some in response to the mandate implemented by President Joe Biden on businesses with 100 or more employees through the Occupational and Safety Health Act (OSHA), and Arizona Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) is pushing back. Bolick sent a letter to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix demanding a meeting to discuss its vaccine mandate, stating that Biden’s OSHA mandate is unconstitutional and pointing out various reasons why Mayo should reconsider its policy. Bolick said that she has received dozens of emails from Mayo employees about it, including remote workers who work from home.
“During the height of the pandemic in 2020, these same health care heroes worked tirelessly for Mayo to care for the sick knowing they were potentially putting their own health and family’s health at risk,” she wrote. “Yet, just a year later, Mayo appears ready to show them the door considering the Biden/Harris administration’s lawless vaccine mandate.”
More than 180 Minnesota health care workers spanning statewide hospital systems filed a federal lawsuit over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, seeking an injunction to block the upcoming rule.
The lawsuit follows weeks after President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 employees and facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare. Defendants named include St. Mary’s Duluth, University Of Minnesota Physicians; Mayo Clinic; North Memorial Health Care; Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital; St. Luke’s Hospital Of Duluth; and Minneapolis Radiation Oncology.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed Senate Bill 899, a bill intended to shield health care workers from liability during a state of emergency.
The immunity granted to health care workers and facilities would have stretched from March 10, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021, as the state battles COVID-19.