Jim Oberweis: Illinois should follow Ohio’s lead and issue temporary licenses for medical students

Sugar Grove, IL – Health experts have all warned that the current coronavirus crisis is likely to get worse before it gets better which is why Jim Oberweis is urging Governor JB Pritzker to issue temporary licenses for nurses nearing completion of their programs.

“Right now, we have thousands of nursing students who are close to finishing their course work,” Oberweis said. “Why not provide these individuals with temporary licenses and put them to work in hospitals that could use some extra help during this crisis. Let’s get ahead of this before our hospitals are overwhelmed.”

The Ohio Legislature approved a measure allowing the Ohio Board of Nursing to issue temporary licenses to students to practice as a RN or LPN if they have completed a Board-approved nursing education program and have a completed criminal records check. According to media reports, anywhere from 4-5,000 nursing students could be eligible for the temporary licenses in Ohio.

Oberweis said Illinois should set similar criteria and issue temporary licenses to nurses to help alleviate nursing staff shortages during this crisis. He suggested the State authorize some course credit or residency credits while these students are working in order to incentivize students to participate.

“We have an opportunity to be proactive and get ahead of what is coming and I suggest we take it,” Oberweis said. “There are potentially thousands of nursing students at Illinois Universities that could help with this crisis, and they are in a low-risk age group. They get credit for their work and our hospitals get the staff help they need. It is a win-win.”

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