COVID-19 Guidance

Information regarding COVID-19 guidance


On December 9, 2021, Governor Andy Beshear signed Executive Order 2021-913, declaring the nursing shortage in Kentucky a state of emergency.  Among the provisions of Executive Order 2021-913 was a temporary privilege to practice in Kentucky granted to nurses who were licensed and qualified to practice in another state.  To that end, the Kentucky Board of Nursing implemented the Out-of-State Registry. 


​On April 7, 2022, Governor Beshear signed into law Senate Bill 10, which includes new provisions enabling nurses licensed and in good standing in non-compact states to obtain temporary work permits and licenses to practice in Kentucky.  The provisions of Senate Bill 10 supersede and replace the provisions of Executive Order 2021-913. 

Therefore, the Kentucky Board of Nursing will no longer issue privileges to practice to out-of-state nurses based upon Executive Order 2021-913. 

Effective 12:01 a.m. July 1, 2022: 

All privileges to practice in Kentucky previously granted under the authority of Executive Order 2021-913 will no longer be valid.  

All nurses practicing in Kentucky must come into compliance with Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 314 (as amended by Senate Bill 10) and Kentucky Administrative Regulations Title 201, Chapter 20.   

Any nurse who was previously working on a privilege to practice under the Executive Order 2021-913 Out-of-State Registry who wishes to continue practicing in Kentucky after June 30, 2022 must submit an application for a Kentucky license​ at https://kbn.ky.gov/General/Pages/apply.aspx.  

 


On March 31, 2020, by Order of the Secretary of State, the CAPA-CS and the CAPA-NS requirements related to APRN prescribing of medications were suspended due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The Kentucky Board of Nursing has advised APRNs that, should the suspension be lifted, they will be afforded a 30-day grace period to comply with the reinstated requirements.

These changes to Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 314.042(8, 10) and Kentucky Administrative Regulation 201 KAR 20:057 were implemented to ensure patient access to care, expansion of telehealth, and recognition of out-of-state APRN practice authority during the global pandemic. The Board also temporarily suspended the one-year waiting period during which newly licensed APRNs were previously required to refrain from prescribing controlled substances.

On September 7, 2021, the March 31, 2020 Order was extended until January 15, 2022 by the General Assembly. However, on January 13, 2022, the Kentucky General Assembly declined to extend the Order.

See https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/22rs/sb25.html#HFA1

The March 31, 2020 Order ends on January 15, 2022 at 12:01 AM. Therefore, by close of business on Monday, February 14, 2022, all APRNs must come into compliance with the reinstated collaborative agreement requirements under Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 314.042(8, 10) and 201 KAR 20:057.

Moreover, APRNs within the first year of their DEA registration should contact the DEA regarding their registration and the need to reapply.

Please see the following webpages:


On January 14, 2022, Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 25, which modified several provisions of his previous executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 3 (7) of Senate Bill 25 states that the provisions of Executive Order 2020-215 and an August 18, 2021 order issued by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which granted certain out-of-state medical providers a privilege to practice in Kentucky, was extended until April 14, 2022.

The General Assembly has the authority to extend the deadline for this privilege to practice beyond April 14, 2022, but to date, there has been no indication that it intends to do so. Moreover, on March 22, 2022, the General Assembly overrode Governor Beshear’s veto of Senate Joint Resolution 150, thereby declaring an end to the COVID-19 state of emergency in Kentucky.

Therefore, by 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2022, all dialysis technicians practicing in Kentucky must come into compliance with Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 314 and Kentucky Administrative Regulations Title 201, Chapter 20. Any dialysis technician from out-of-state who wishes to continue practicing in Kentucky will have to follow the credentialing procedures found at https://kbn.ky.gov/General/Pages/DT-Credential.aspx.

On June 17, 2021 the Secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services provided notice that the Order creating the Out-of-State Registry will be rescinded on July 23. As of June 17, the KBN will no longer place individuals on the registry.

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​Clinical Education Requirements Modified

On March 5, 2021, J. Michael Brown, Secretary of the Governor's Executive Cabinet, approved a Kentucky Board of Nursing Memorandum that modifies, for the duration of the current State of Emergency, certain nursing clinical education requirements pursuant to Senate Bill 150 Section 13 (2020), and Executive Orders 2020-243 and 2020-257. Per the relaxed enforcement of 201 KAR 20:320 Section 2(9) and Section 3(1)(b) specified in the Memorandum, Board staff will not enforce the 120 hour integrated practicum requirement in a manner that necessitates direct patient care, or the completion of the integrated practicum within seven consecutive weeks. This means that, during the emergency, the 120 hour integrated practicum may be completed or met through simulation. In addition, Board staff will not enforce the 50% threshold for simulation. This means that programs of nursing may provide up to 100% of clinical experiences through simulation if necessary and provided it comports with 201 KAR 20:320 Section 3.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the search term March 5, 2021 Memorandum to review the Memorandum.



On March 5, 2021, J. Michael Brown, Secretary of the Governor's Executive Cabinet, approved a Kentucky Board of Nursing Memorandum that rescinded COVID-19 emergency measures related to fingerprint-driven criminal background checks, NCLEX, and continuing education requirements for reinstatement applicants. Senate Bill 150 §13 (2020) and multiple Executive Orders of Governor Andy Beshear authorized the Kentucky Board of Nursing to modify statutory and regulatory provisions to eliminate barriers to licensure caused by social distancing requirements and to ensure the continuation of Board support of Life-Sustaining Businesses. Consistent with this authority, the Kentucky Board of Nursing temporarily modified numerous regulations within 201 KAR Chapter 20 for the primary purpose of allowing an expeditious pathway to temporary licensure notwithstanding delays in obtaining fingerprint-driven criminal background reports and with regard to the NCLEX examination. As delays associated with fingerprint-driven criminal background checks and the NCLEX examination have been largely eliminated, on February 18, 2021, KBN decided to seek to rescind the COVID-19 emergency measures listed below. This action took effect on March 5, 2021, after being approved by the Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet.

Implementation Timeline for Rescission of KBN Emergency Measures

Effective March 5, 2021, no new applications for initial licensure, endorsement, or reinstatement will be processed under the emergency procedures. In addition, applicants who had applications filed and pending on March 5, 2021, but which have not yet processed, will be notified by email of the requirements to be met. Those licensees who obtained licensure under the emergency procedures, but who have not completed a fingerprint-driven criminal background check, or the NCLEX examination, will be required to satisfy those licensure requirements prior to the expiration of their license, provisional license, or temporary work permit, as follows. On or before March 15, 2021, Board staff will notify all provisional or temporary license holders by email of the withdrawal of the emergency modifications to 201 KAR 20:056, 201 KAR 20:070, 201 KAR 20:110, 201 KAR 20:225, 201 KAR 20:470, and 201 KAR 20:620, the corresponding reinstatement of NCLEX and fingerprint-driven criminal background check requirements, and the date that their license, provisional license, or temporary work permit will expire if those requirements are not met. It is noted that provisional and temporary licenses expire on varying dates; more specifically, a date six (6) months after the provisional license/temporary work permit was issued or renewed, whichever occurred later. Beginning on April 5, 2021, all provisional license and temporary work permit expiration dates will be binding, and all applicants for reinstatement will be required to satisfy continuing competency requirements.

Information by Licensure or Credential Type

201 KAR 20:056 – APRN Licensure

201 KAR 20:056 – Advanced practice registered nurse licensure and certification requirements. This regulation was modified by memorandum on April 17, 2020, to temporarily remove fingerprint-driven criminal background check requirements for APRN licensure. Beginning on March 5, 2021, no new applications for initial licensure, endorsement, reinstatement or renewal will be processed under the emergency procedures. In order to be eligible for renewal in 2021, and to avoid a period of lapsed licensure, APRNs who obtained licensure without completing a fingerprint-driven criminal background check will be required to do so. In addition, failure or refusal to follow fingerprinting requirements may result in disciplinary proceedings.

201 KAR 20:070 – RN and LPN Licensure by Examination

201 KAR 20:070 – Licensure by examination. This regulation was modified by memorandum on March 27, 2020, to temporarily remove fingerprint-driven criminal background check requirements for RN and LPN NCLEX exam applicants, and to extend the period of provisional licensure. Beginning on March 5, 2021, no new applications for initial licensure will be processed under the emergency procedures. To avoid a period of lapsed licensure, RNs and LPNs who obtained a provisional license without completing a fingerprint-driven criminal background check will be required to do so prior to the expiration of the provisional license.

201 KAR 20:110 – RN and LPN Licensure by Endorsement 201 KAR 20:110 – Licensure by endorsement.
This regulation was modified by memorandum on March 27, 2020, to temporarily remove fingerprint-driven criminal background check requirements for RN and LPN endorsement applicants. Beginning on March 5, 2021, no new applications for endorsement will be processed under the emergency procedures. To avoid a period of lapsed licensure, RNs and LPNs who obtained a temporary work permit without completing a fingerprint-driven criminal background check will be required to do so prior to the expiration of the temporary work permit.
201 KAR 20:225 – RN, LPN and APRN Licensure by Reinstatement 201 KAR 20:225 – Reinstatement of license.
This regulation was modified by memorandum on August 26, 2020, to temporarily allow for licensure of reinstatement applicants who have not completed a fingerprint driven criminal background check, and to temporarily remove continuing competency requirements applicable to reinstatement applicants who are not subject to a disciplinary action. Beginning on March 5, 2021, no new applications for reinstatement will be processed under the emergency procedures. To avoid a period of lapsed licensure, RNs, LPNs and ARPNs who obtained a temporary work permit without completing a fingerprint-driven criminal background check will be required to do so prior to the expiration of the temporary work permit.

201 KAR 20:470 – DT Licensure

201 KAR 20:470 – Dialysis Technician credentialing requirements and training program standards. This regulation was modified by memorandum on August 26, 2020, to allow for the issuance of temporary work permits to dialysis technician reinstatement applicants who have not completed a fingerprint driven criminal background check. Beginning on March 5, 2021, no new applications for reinstatement will be processed under the emergency procedures. To avoid a period of lapsed licensure, DTs who obtained a temporary work permit without completing a fingerprint-driven criminal background check will be required to do so prior to the expiration of the temporary work permit.

201 KAR 20:620 – LCPM Licensure

201 KAR 20:620 – Licensing requirements for licensed certified professional midwives. This regulation was modified by memorandum on August 26, 2020 to provide a path to licensure for LCPM applicants who cannot obtain timely fingerprint-driven criminal background reports due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Beginning on March 5, 2021, no new applications for initial LCPM licensure or reinstatement will be processed under the emergency procedures. To avoid a period of lapsed licensure, LCPMs who obtained a temporary work permit without completing a fingerprint-driven criminal background check will be required to do so prior to the expiration of the temporary work permit.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the search terms February 19, 2021 Letter and March 5, 2021 Memorandum for more information.

Healthcare providers are required by law and regulation to report all positive laboratory results for SARS CoV2 in a Kentucky resident to the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH). For more information visit the KBN Document Library and use the search term August 5, 2020 letter issued by KDPH.

On December 17, 2020, the Kentucky Board of Nursing issued an advisory on the subject of Buprenorphine prescribing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the related State of Emergency declared by Governor Andy Beshear. In summary, the advisory encourages the use of telehealth and recognizes that the standards of acceptable and prevailing nursing practice that apply under normal circumstances may not apply in a state of emergency. During the emergency, if an APRN prescribing buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder is unable to conform to requirements set forth in 201 KAR 20:065 due to circumstances beyond the APRN’s control, or if the APRN makes a professional determination that it is not appropriate to comply with a specific standard, based upon the individual facts applicable to a specific patient’s diagnosis and treatment, the APRN shall document those circumstances in the patient’s record and only prescribe buprenorphine to the patient if the patient record appropriately justifies the prescribing under the circumstances.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the search term Advisory on Prescribing Buprenorphine to review the document.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued guidance under its Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to add additional categories of qualified persons authorized to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For information, visit https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/legal/prepact/Pages/default.aspx .

In accordance with the PREP Act if you are prescribing, dispensing, or administering COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and meet the above categories, you do not need to be licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Due to staff processing time, all applications for licensure or renewal are final and no refunds may be given.

Directives from the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy were revised on July 29, 2020. The directive placing restrictions on prescriptions for chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, or azithromycin was repealed at the July 29, 2020 Kentucky Board of Pharmacy meeting.

Please visit www.KYCOVID19.KY.GOV for more information on Kentucky’s efforts to combat this international situation. Citizens can also contact the Commonwealth of Kentucky COVID-19 hotline at (800) 722-5725.

For individuals who are currently being monitored by Compliance Branch staff (which includes the KARE for Nurses Program, those in Board ordered monitoring through an Agreed Order or Decision, and those working toward the reinstatement of licensure) you must continue to maintain compliance with all aspects of monitoring. The Guidance Letter is being offered by Board staff to assist you with the various aspects of monitoring.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the search term Guidance Letter to view the letter.

The Kentucky Board of Nursing has received multiple inquiries from our programs of nursing related to classes and clinical in relation to the spread of the Coronavirus across the U.S.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the search term Guidance Document PON to obtain more information.

The Kentucky Board of Nursing has received many calls and emails with concerns about nurses’ safety in providing care for patients with suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19 and the actual and projected shortage of PPE provided in facilities across the Commonwealth. Many nurses have expressed concerns regarding what to do if they feel they are putting themselves and their families at risk or are not provided enough resources to protect themselves. The CDC has established guidelines to identify individuals who are “at-risk” for contracting COVID-19, the proper use of PPE and guidelines for alternative plans with limited PPE supplies, and measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. After reviewing CDC guidelines and Kentucky Nursing Laws, the Kentucky Board of Nursing has worked to create a FAQ and resource guide in response to the many questions and concerns our constituents have expressed regarding COVID-19, and this will be updated as new information is released.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the following search terms to obtain more information:

COVID-19 Safe Care and PPE FAQ

COVID-19 Safe Care During Pregnancy FAQ

COVID-19 Patient Abandonment by Nurses



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