COVID-19 Guidance

Information regarding COVID-19 guidance


On August 18, 2021 the Cabinet for Health and Family Services authorized the Out-of-State Registry for Inpatient Hospital Services and Skilled Nursing Care. Nurses and dialysis technicians who will only perform services necessary to support COVID-19 response efforts during the duration of the state of emergency are eligible to apply for the registry. These services are limited to inpatient hospital services and skilled nursing care.

The application should be submitted to the Kentucky Board of Nursing for nurses or dialysis technicians who are licensed or credentialed in a state other than Kentucky and are in good standing to perform health services. Individuals who seek to practice in Kentucky pursuant to the above criteria must apply for and be placed on the Kentucky Out-of-State Registry for Inpatient Hospital Services and Skilled Nursing Care prior to beginning work in Kentucky. Completed forms should be emailed to the Legal Executive Assistant​ and the Deputy Executive Director.

The application that contains additional information about the registry and the CHFS authority letter are located in the KBN Document Library and can be located using the search terms: Out-of-State Registry Application and CHFS Authority Letter.

Please Note: The Out-of-State Registry for Inpatient Hospital Services and Skilled Nursing Care is different from the Out-of-State Registry to Practice in Kentucky During the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The Out-of-State Registry to Practice in Kentucky During the COVID-19 State of Emergency ended on July 23 and no longer provides authority for any nurse or dialysis technician who was on that registry to work in Kentucky or to practice telehealth for a patient who resides in Kentucky.

If a nurse or dialysis technician who was on the previous Out-of-State Registry wishes to be placed on the Out-of-State Registry for Inpatient Hospital Services and Skilled Nursing Care they must submit a new application to be on the new registry, and may not practice in Kentucky until they receive their approval letter. Contact the Deputy Executive Director with any questions – Implemented August 18, 2021.

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the Cabinet for Health and Family Services provided notice that the Order creating the Out-of-State Registry will be rescinded on July 23.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.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the search term CHFS Order – Out of State Registry to view the order rescinding the CHFS Order – Expired 7/23/2021​. ​

On March 31, 2020, J. Michael Brown, Secretary of the Governor's Executive Cabinet, signed an Order suspending collaborative agreement requirements for the duration of the COVID19 State of Emergency pursuant to Senate Bill 150 Section 13 (2020), and Executive Orders 2020-243 and 2020-257. For Kentucky APRNs, and out-of-state APRNs who have been approved to practice in Kentucky during the State of Emergency, the requirement for collaborative agreements with physicians for the prescribing of controlled substances and legend drugs has been lifted. Specifically, KRS 314.042 Sections 8 and 10 have been suspended, as well as 201 KAR 20:057 Section 7. The suspension of KRS 314.042 Section 10 also lifts the one year waiting period during which newly licensed APRNs were previously required to refrain from prescribing controlled substances. APRNs who prescribe controlled substances will still need a DEA registration and a KASPER master account in order to review patient KASPER data prior to the initial prescribing of a controlled substance to a patient, and no less frequently than every 90 days for ongoing prescribing of controlled substances to a patient.

Visit the KBN Document Library and use the search term March 31, 2020 Order to review the Order.

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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