WHA voiced support for the Wisconsin Legislature and State Department of Safety and Professional Services partnering to ease licensure delays at an informational hearing held by the Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform on March 16.
On the same day that WHA released its 18th annual Wisconsin Health Care Workforce Report
, WHA Senior Vice President of Workforce and Clinical Practice Ann Zenk highlighted in written testimony
to the committee the past proactive work WHA has done in partnership with the Legislature to grow our health care workforce. Specifically, WHA's testimony highlighted the physician residency and advanced practice training grants which will have created 136 new physician residency training positions and 40 more advanced practice and allied health professional clinical training opportunities by 2023.
WHA also recognized the importance of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact and 2021 Wisconsin Act 10—all of which have made it easier for health care professionals in good standing from other states to obtain licensure in Wisconsin. Another innovative approach passed by the Legislature recently and signed by Gov. Tony Evers last week as 2021 Act 158 creates an expedited pathway for returning military medics, corpsmen and medical technicians to begin using their skills in the civilian world while they complete the training and education requirements for state licensure.
Despite all these successful and innovative efforts, WHA continues to hear from members facing long wait times for licensure, typically from individuals ineligible for one of the various streamlined pathways. In its written testimony, WHA noted the positive relationship it has developed with Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) and its work to get delayed licenses "unstuck." WHA also voiced its support for the Legislature and DSPS continuing to work to improve the process and look at innovative ideas such as a probationary license for Wisconsinites who newly complete their training and pass their exams, similar to 2021 Act 10.
In addition to WHA, the committee heard from other groups such as the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other health care providers, who all provided their own examples of delays health care professionals in their fields have faced and echoed the need to find innovative methods expedite licensure for qualified applicants in health care fields.
Contact WHA Vice President of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter