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Ricketts extends orders meant to ease health care workforce pressures

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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has extended executive orders intended to ease health care workforce pressures through the end of the year.

Ricketts has signed an executive order extending two previous executive orders issued in August and October of last year when hospitals, pharmacies and other health care facilities were tasked with caring for COVID-19 patients, vaccinating people for flu and COVID and keeping up with patients’ other health care needs.

The new order, among other provisions, authorizes the credentialing of retired or inactive health care professionals, defers certain continuing education requirements and suspends some statutes to allow new health care providers seeking licenses to begin practicing.

It also temporarily suspends some state licensing requirements for health care facility administrators and practitioners such as audiologists, alcohol and drug counselors and speech pathologists.

Jeremy Nordquist, president of the Nebraska Hospital Association, thanked Ricketts on behalf of the group’s 92 member hospitals for his support of hospitals and health care in the state.

“This will help our members in both hospital planning and efforts to strengthen our workforce across the state,” he said in a prepared statement.

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Julie Anderson is a medical reporter for The World-Herald. She covers health care and health care trends and developments, including hospitals, research and treatments. Follow her on Twitter @JulieAnderson41. Phone: 402-444-1066.

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