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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 30, 2021 04:06 PM
From: Representative Doyle Heffley
To: All House members
Subject: Study: State Board of Nursing and Issuance of Nurse Licensing in PA
Over the last few years, I have been contacted by recent nursing school graduates in my district regarding the lengthy licensing process at the State Board of Nursing.  This has caused frustration and unnecessary stress on our constituents, especially those who are seeking to serve on the frontline during a pandemic. 
While there are many steps an applicant must take in order to be issued a nurse license in Pennsylvania, the step that seems to cause the most delay is the issuance of an applicant’s “Authorization to Test”, or often referred to as “ATT”.  An applicant cannot register to take their state board exam, and thus cannot be licensed to practice, until they are issued their ATT from the State Board of Nursing.  This step in the process can sometimes take anywhere from 4-6 weeks.
We cannot afford lengthy delays in getting more health care providers licensed at a time when we have a significant increase in demand placed on frontline workers, coupled with increased health care provider burnout.
After conversations with the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs and other stakeholders, I am planning to introduce a resolution to conduct a thorough study and review of the State Board of Nursing, specifically the ATT process, and ways that it could potentially be improved.  The study will also take a look at where Pennsylvania ranks compared to our surrounding states in the issuance of ATT and nurse licensure.
I look forward to finding ways to make this process more streamlined and efficient for our constituents.  Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this important resolution. 

Introduced as HR142