The Pennsylvania Department of State announced that its professional licensing waivers issued under the COVID-19 disaster declaration will begin expiring in phases starting May 23. All waivers will expire by June 30.
The legislature ended the COVID-19 disaster declaration in June 2021, while extending some license waivers. Without a disaster declaration, the governor and the department cannot further extend the waivers. Legislative action is necessary to extend any active waiver.
Under Act 14 of 2022, all waived and suspended regulations initiated because of the COVID-19 disaster emergency would expire June 30, 2022, unless terminated sooner. Licensed professionals and other individuals affected by these waivers should make every effort to return to compliance based on the pending expiration dates (see list below).
In 2020, the administration approved nearly 100 waivers that temporarily eased regulations to allow such things as expanded scopes of practice for certain health professions, expedited reactivations to allow retired licensees to join pandemic response efforts more easily, and expanded online continuing professional education options and emergency temporary licenses for out-of-state practitioners who wanted to help in Pennsylvania.
“The COVID-19 disaster declaration allowed us to mobilize our licensees to respond to the pandemic while protecting the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” said Professional and Occupational Affairs Acting Commissioner Arion Claggett.
The department is notifying licensing boards, licensees and stakeholders about the expiring waivers.
The following waivers will expire May 23:
– Licensees attempting to meet continuing education requirements entirely through online learning or distance education; some continuing education restrictions suspended for licensed professionals
– Out-of-state healthcare practitioners
– Certified nurse midwives
– Pharmacy practitioners and pharmacies in other states
– Pharmacy-related waivers
– Cosmetology apprentices
– Physicians providing prescriptions
The following waivers will expire June 6:
– Pharmacy interns administering vaccinations
– Pharmacists administering COVID-19 vaccinations
– Traveling vaccinators
– Retired physicians and nurses and other healthcare professionals administering COVID-19 vaccinations
– Allowing qualified Pennsylvania vaccinators to administer COVID-19 vaccines to 16 and 17-year-olds and 12 to 15-year-olds
– Certified nurse midwives, dentists, dental students, optometrists, optometry students, physician assistants, physician assistant students, podiatrists, podiatry students, respiratory therapists, respiratory therapy students, veterinarians, veterinary students that may administer COVID-19 vaccines
The following waivers will expire June 20:
– Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners
– State Board of Nursing licensees
– State Board of Psychology and State Board of Social Workers; in-person supervision
– Supervision requirements for physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and audiologists
– Pharmacists administering influenza vaccinations
The following waivers will expire June 30:
– Licensed healthcare practitioners providing telemedicine services
– Individuals seeking licensure as psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors
– Osteopathic physicians and surgeons licensed in other states seeking short term licensure in PA during the COVID-19 emergency
– Individuals working toward licensure as a behavior specialist via telemedicine or teletherapy
– Buprenorphine treatment via telemedicine expands access to treatment of opioid use disorder
– Nursing students administering COVID-19 vaccinations
– Eligible supervisors for COVID-19 vaccinations
– Volunteers administering the COVID-19 vaccination
– Clinical clerks administering COVID-19 vaccinations
– Pharmacists delegating authority to administer COVID-19 vaccinations
– Out-of-state osteopathic physicians
– Graduate medical trainees administering COVID-19 vaccinations
– Real estate classes to be livestreamed
– Cosmetology and barber licensure through career and technical education pilot program