End of COVID-19 Emergency Orders and State of Emergency by October 31

On Sept. 8, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the upcoming rescission of all remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations and state of emergency by Oct. 31.

On Sept. 8, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the upcoming rescission of all remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations and state of emergency by Oct. 31.

Nearly three-quarters of the governor’s 85 COVID-19 emergency orders have already been lifted, and an additional 13 health care related orders will end Oct. 27. The remaining 10 orders are to be lifted on Oct. 31, including the underlying state of emergency. See the announcement here.

How does this affect you?

Requirements for initial application and renewal of nurse licensure will continue in accordance with pre-pandemic requirements unless they are currently covered by the nursing commission’s emergency rules or have been updated by permanent rule work. For a full list of rule changes, please see the nursing commission’s infographic.

Orders that were in place under the governor’s state of emergency will no longer be in effect on Oct. 31:

  1. Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (70.15) - If you are currently licensed in another state and practicing in Washington state under the Washington State Registry of Emergency Volunteers (WAServ), when the state of emergency ends on Oct. 31:
    • You must have a Washington state license to continue working as a nurse in Washington state.
    • If you do not have an active Washington state nursing license, or active temporary practice permit, listed on the Provider Credential Search, you will not be able to practice in Washington state.
    • We encourage you to apply for your Washington state license as soon as possible to avoid a lapse in the ability to practice. For more information on how to apply for your Washington State nursing license, please visit our website at www.nursing.wa.gov.
  2. Nursing Technician (NTEC) Extension Date - During the state of emergency, the Nursing Commission was able to grant an additional 30-day extension of the NTEC credential after the initial 30-day post-graduation expiration date (totaling 60 days post-graduation). When the state of emergency ends on Oct. 31:
    •  The Nursing Commission will no longer be able to grant an additional 30-day extension and the NTEC credential will expire 30 days after an individual graduates from a nursing program.
    • Any NTEC credentials that have already received the 30-day extension will remain in effect until the new graduate sits for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) or the NTEC expires, whichever comes first.
  3. Emergency Interim Permits - During the state of emergency, the Nursing Commission was able to issue emergency interim permits (EIP) to qualified new graduates. Licensed practical nurses, (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) were able to use an EIP to practice as a nurse in Washington state prior to passing the NCLEX or national examination. When the state of emergency ends on Oct. 31:
    • The Nursing Commission will no longer be issuing EIPs to new graduates. The EIPs issued prior to Oct. 31, will remain active until the graduate sits for the national examination or the EIP expires, whichever comes first.

For more information, please email NCQAC.Rules@doh.wa.gov.

Thank you,

Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC)