Begin Main Content Area

Pennsylvania Extends Temporary Practice Permits Issued to RNs and PNs Applying for PA Licensure By Endorsement

Issued: November 30, 2020

The Department of State previously received approval from the Governor to extend the duration of certain temporary practice permits (TPPs) issued by the State Board of Nursing. For candidates whose pathway to Pennsylvania licensure requires them to take the licensure exam – including some registered and practical nurses licensed in other states, as well as graduates of nursing education programs – TPPs allow them to work while waiting to take the exam.

As a result of social-distancing measures that limited the ability of licensure-examination facilities to operate at full capacity, and the ensuing backlog of applicants who needed to reschedule exams that had been cancelled, waivers extending the term of those TPPs became necessary. See Pennsylvania Waives Some Nurse Licensing Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency (March 20, 2020) and Pennsylvania Further Extends Certain Temporary Permits and Licenses (June 16, 2020).

The State Board of Nursing also issues TPPs to out-of-state licensees whose pathway to Pennsylvania licensure does not require examination. The pandemic continues to cause disruptions and delays in the Board's ability to obtain the required documentation from these individuals, particularly when information must be obtained from nursing education programs and licensing authorities in other states or countries. Although the Board's regulations do allow these TPPs to be extended, it requires each applicant to demonstrate "extreme hardship." Because of the substantial time and resources that would be required to examine each individual hardship request, this is not a reasonable or practical solution.

For those reasons, the Governor approved the Department's request that all temporary practice permits for RNs and PNs (licensees from other states who may or may not need to still be examined) and graduate temporary permits for RNs and PNs (graduates of nursing education programs who have yet to be examined) that were in effect on March 6, 2020, be extended for 90 days after the emergency declaration ends unless (1) the TPP holder was subsequently issued a license after March 6, 2020, or (2) the TPP holder subsequently failed the licensure examination after March 6, 2020.