Health Care Workers Face Months-Long Waits for Licenses Across U.S.

From Wisconsin to New York, health care workers face licensing backlogs that cause them to wait months to receive their licenses. At the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, for example, they report fielding calls from social workers waiting for their licenses—some since 2020. At the Department of Safety and Professional Services in Wisconsin, a spokesperson for the agency called their systems and technology, “sustainably out of date,” causing them to fall even further behind with processing licenses. The Feb. 13 NBC News article surveyed leaders at nine health care professional organizations in three states, who reported: “wait times for licenses are worse than they’ve ever been.”

N.M. Legislation to Reduce Licensing Barriers

House Bill 191, meant to streamline professional licenses and reduce regulatory burdens for businesses, passed the House Feb. 12 and heads to the New Mexico State Senate. According to Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda M. Trujillo, the changes help remove some of the professional licensing barriers faced by those moving to New Mexico from other states. Some of the occupations affected by the bill include optometry, podiatry, massage therapy, barbers and cosmetologists. “Complicated” licensing boards, such as medicine, pharmacy and veterinary medicine, are not affected by the bill, according to the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Mich. Marijuana Agency Changes Name and Oversight

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency, soon to be called the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, plans to add the task of overseeing the processing, distribution and sales of hemp. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development currently oversees the hemp industry; after the change, they plan to just oversee hemp cultivation. According to The Detroit News on Feb. 13, the change, made by executive order, takes effect in 60 days. In a statement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said the change “will allow for a more effective, efficient administration and enforcement of Michigan laws regulating cannabis in all its forms.”

Wis. to License Naturopathic Doctors

Wisconsin passed a law on Feb. 11 to regulate naturopathic doctors, becoming the 26th jurisdiction in the United States to do so. Act 130 creates a naturopathic medicine examining board to license naturopathic doctors. According to the Dupage Policy Journal, benefits to licensing naturopathic doctors include “resident retention and increased job opportunities.”


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