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OSBN Response to COVID-19

The global spread of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) is a rapidly evolving situation.  The Oregon State Board of Nursing is working diligently to support the state's coronavirus response while maintaining its mission to protect Oregonians.  

The following information provides guidance to OSBN licensees and new applicants regarding our efforts to assist those nurses and nursing assistants on the frontlines, and those wishing to rejoin the fight.

​The OSBN deferment of license renewals has ended.  Beginning November 1, 2020, licensees whose renewals were deferred have 30 days to pay their full renewal fees before being assessed a late fee.  Individuals with an expired license or certificate are not eligible to practice in Oregon.

Licensees (LPN/RN/CNS/CRNA/NP) whose renewals were deferred* and who did not renew their licenses by December 1, 2020, are subject to a $100 late fee.
  • Deferrals were applicable to licenses that were active as of March 24, 2020. 
  • $100 delinquent fees were waived until December 1, 2020.
* Licensees with birthdates in even years between March 24 and October 31. 

​During the Governor's declared state of emergency, per ORS 678.031(4), the Oregon Board of Nursing may allow nurses and nursing assistants licensed in good standing in another state or US jurisdiction to provide care in Oregon under special provisions.  

All applicants must be matched with an employer request; an applicant will not be authorized to provide care unless we have an employer request for that applicant.
  • Employers Needing Exemptions for Long-term Care Facilities, Emergency Departments, ICUs, and Cardiac Care Units:  Oregon law (ORS 678.031(7)(f)) allows long-term care employers to request licensure exceptions for non-Oregon nurses in emergency staffing situations.  These applicants must have an endorsement or reactivation on file with the Board prior to approval. Those granted authorization under this provision will not be placed on the emergency authorization registry; they will be notified directly by OSBN staff that they have been approved.  Please complete and submit the exception request form .
  • All Other Employers who wish to hire nurses/nursing assistants because of emergency staffing needs due to the COVID response must complete this application.
    • Employers must currently provide services to Oregonians.
    • These requests must be completed by the facility's Oregon licensed Chief Nursing Officer. 
    • Requests from staffing and credentialing companies/departments are ineligible and will not be processed.
    • A nurse or nursing assistant hired to meet the COVID response must be on the registry list maintained by OSBN prior to being placed on staff. The application for the nurse or nursing assistant may be found here
    • Emergency authorizations will expire 30 days after the Governor declares the emergency over (or the emergency declaration expires).​​
    • To view a non-Oregon RN or LPN license status, use the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Nursys quick confirm.
    • A nurse practicing in Oregon without authorization from OSBN shall be subject to a civil penalty for practicing nursing without a license in Oregon as indicated in OAR 851-045-0100. 

​To help those nurses and nursing assistants who want to rejoin the effort, RNs, LPNs, and CNAs who can meet the competency requirement may apply to reactivate their Oregon licenses/certificates.  The normal fees and fingerprint background checks for these applications have been waived during this period of crisis response for eligible applicants only.

Click here for a RN or LPN reactivation applica​tion

  • Applicants must complete the entire application.
  • RN and LPN applicants must meet the competency requirement of 960 hours within five years.
  • Oregon Law Enforcement Data System background checks will occur.
  • Applicants must identify the employer for whom they will work in Oregon once their license is reactivated.
  • Your license must have been expired, retired, or inactive prior to 12/31/2019.  Applicants whose license was active at any time after 1/1/2020 are not eligible.
  • Your license must have been in good standing at the time it expired, was retired, or was placed in inactive status.
  • Applicants whose previous license was revoked or voluntarily surrendered are not eligible.​
  • NP/CNS/CRNA applicants who are seeking RN licensure are not eligible.  Applicants wishing to reactivate an RN license before applying for an APRN license must apply here​.
If you don't meet the conditions abovevisit our online licensing system to access a standard reactivation application​

Click here for a CNA reactivation application

  • Applicants must complete the entire application.
  • CNA applicants must meet the competency requirement of 400 hours in the past two years of performing certified nursing assistant (CNA) authorized duties for pay with supervision by an registered nurse or licensed practical nurse or monitoring by an RN who works for the same employer as the CNA.
  • Oregon Law Enforcement Data System background checks will occur.
  • Applicants must identify the employer for whom they will work in Oregon once their certificate is reactivated.
  • Your certificate must have been expired, retired, or inactive prior to 12/31/2019.  Applicants whose certificate was active at any time after 1/1/2020 are not eligible.
  • Your certificate must have been in good standing at the time it expired, was retired, or went inactive.
  • Applicants whose previous certificate was revoked or voluntarily surrendered are not eligible.

Other options to join t​he effort:

  1. ​Scheduled Ongoing Safety Evaluation of an Existing Delegation 
    The RN's scheduled ongoing evaluation of the continued safety of an existing delegation may occur electronically.  This means that the RN who has delegated the performance of the client's health-related procedure to an assistive person may assess their client, and evaluate the assistive person's continued ability to safely perform the delegated procedure on the client, via an electronic modality. The RN must continue to generate thorough, clear, accurate, and timely documentation of these processes and outcomes.

  2. New FDA guidance restricts the use of KN95 respirators. (as of 5/9/20)

  3. Practicing Nursing and PPE 
    The Board of Nursing has received reports of nurses refusing to care for patients when their hospital is following state OHA guidelines rather than the CDC or WHO.  Per the Nurse Practice Act, a nurse has the legal ability to decline a patient assignment when the nurse does not have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies to complete the assignment safely.  The OSBN position statement regarding practicing nurses, personal protective equipment, and COVID-19 (updated) states that if the only reason the nurse is refusing is because the organization is following OHA rather than CDC or WHO, that reason alone is not sufficient to refuse an assignment.

    For additional information on PPE, visit the Oregon Emergency Management website.

  4. OHA guidance on masking for healthcare professionals.

  5. Care guidance for health care providers, including elective medical procedures, and webinars from the Oregon Health Authority. 

  6. School nurse telehealth FAQs. 

  7. ​​The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have issued rule changes and waivers intended to deliver expanded care and provide flexibility to the health care system during COVID-19.  The regulatory changes are intended to make it easier for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to get tested for COVID-19 and further expands beneficiaries' access to telehealth services.  Most notably, the additional changes allow nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants to, “provide home health services, as mandated by the CARES Act."  These practitioners can now order home health services, establish and periodically review a plan of care for home health patients, and certify and recertify that the patient is eligible for home health services.  Please visit the CMS website for a list of waivers that apply to APRNs.

  8. Regarding esthetic clinics/spas: Please check the OHA's COVID-19 guidance for current information​. 

​Healthcare workers in Oregon can support their community's response to COVID-19 by registering with the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR) and their local Medical Reserve Corps.  Visit the SERV-OR website to learn more and register

If you intend to volunteer only during this pandemic situation, consider applying for a nurse emeritus license

  1. Clinical Replacement Options for Nursing Education Programs 
    The Oregon State Board of Nursing is your partner in confirming that entry-level nurses have met criteria for initial practice. We understand your concerns when faced with the prospect of closed campuses and students being denied access to facilities for clinical practica during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    On December 30, 2020, the Board approved a waiver of the clinical component requirements of Divisions 21 and 61 until the end of Winter Term 2021.  The Board determined that while this waiver exists, program graduates are allowed to apply for licensure or certification and sit for testing exams, including the NCLEX.  Also, while this waiver exists, it will be assumed that programs graduating candidates for testing and licensure/certification have prepared their graduates for entry level practice.

  2. Clinical Replacement Options for Nursing Assistant Training Programs 
    During the current state of emergency, a nursing assistant training program may use a variety of methods for replacing students' clinical experiences. Please see the Board's information on clinical replacement options. 

  3. After making a number of changes to enhance the safety of those taking the test, NCLEX test delivery at Pearson VUE test centers resumed on March 25th at a limited number of test centers in major metropolitan areas across the United States, including Oregon.  Learn more here National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX)

  4. Headmaster is still conducting nursing assistant exams across Oregon.  You can learn more about the  safety measures being used here: nursing assistant testing.

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