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Utah will create a temporary license so nursing students can work during pandemic

Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurses look on during coronavirus testing outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing is creating a temporary nursing apprentice license so nursing students can work in clinics.

To combat nursing shortages as coronavirus cases overwhelm hospitals, Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing is creating a temporary nursing apprentice license so nursing students can work in clinics, FOX 13 reports.

The students will be close to graduating and won’t be helping coronavirus patients directly, according to FOX 13. Instead they will work in other clinics to free up senior nurses.

The idea was facilitated by Gov. Gary Herbert’s office and the Utah Department of Health, according to FOX 13. Organizations like the Utah Nurses Association and the Utah Hospitals Association provided input.

“What they’re actually doing is adding knowledgeable and fresh hands and legs to support the nursing staff who, of course now are running into the problems of having less, challenged staffing, having enough nurses,” Liz Close, a registered nurse and the executive director of the Utah Nurses Association, told FOX 13. “Many are out because they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, they’re quarantining or they’re sick and they’re in isolation. They’re exhausted. It’s not just taking care of the COVID patients, it’s taking care of all the other patients in the hospital, too.”

See more at FOX 13.

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.



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