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Published: April 6, 2020

Executive Order Changes Licensing, Scope Rules

Governor Gavin Newsom issued a wide-ranging executive order this week, giving the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) the authority to temporarily loosen restrictions on staff-to-patient ratios at medical facilities and scope of practice rules for nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA). The Director of DCA, Kimberly Kirchmeyer, said the state would give hospitals the authority to lift the cap on the number of PAs and NPs who can work under a supervising physician (currently limited to four each). As of today, there has been no indication that independent practice of medicine will be granted to non-physicians. The Director indicated that four other waivers have been initiated:

1. Waiver of any CME or examination requirements for the renewal of licenses that occur between now and June 30, 2020, as well as a grace period up to six months after the state of emergency ends.
2. Reinstatement of inactive/retired licenses of five years or less.
3. Allow nursing students to use their time working during this crisis to count toward their clinical hours.
4. Allow residents who complete their first year by June 2020 to become fully licensed without meeting the new 36-month residency requirement.

CAFP is in touch with the administration and organized medicine regarding these changes and will monitor DCA closely for any future action.

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