The Wisconsin Board of Nursing (BON) was briefed at their Aug. 11 meeting on an opportunity to eliminate a step in the licensing process that is causing bottlenecks for new grad nurses. Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) Secretary-designee Dan Hereth asked the BON to eliminate the administrative rule that requires the board to approve applicants to take their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
When asked if the change would expedite problems present in the new system, Hereth responded, “It will make it possible for applicants to test faster and will eliminate a current step for applicants and DSPS staff.” WHA and its members have been urging DSPS to take action to streamline licensure processes. After Hereth’s presentation to BON, WHA quickly sent a letter
to BON Chair Robert Weinman, Secretary-designee Hereth and Governor Tony Evers supporting this first step in improving licensure processes.
WHA interactions with DSPS and licensure boards regarding the need to streamline Wisconsin’s licensure processes have been ongoing, even before successive COVID surges and rising vacancy rates increased the urgency with which delays must be addressed. Last August, WHA asked DSPS to prioritize health care licensure
, and DSPS quickly responded
with a willingness to implement a short-term solution and expedite licensure when delays are identified.
For the past year, and at the request of DSPS, WHA has been sharing reports of licensure delays received from WHA members. These delays have increased in frequency during the learning curve for a new DSPS online application process implemented May 16, 2022, and it is evident there is more work to be done. As WHA Senior Vice President of Workforce and Clinical Ann Zenk noted in WHA’s letter of support, “We look forward to continuing our involvement in reforms that allow licensure to perform its intended function of ensuring patient and consumer safety without creating barriers to care for patients and hurdles to health care careers.”