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National Emergency Ending, DSPS to Continue Offering Temporary Health Care Licenses

Any current “Act 10” license holders can extend the expiration date of their temporary license by applying for a permanent license by May 10, 2023

The pandemic provision that allowed licensed health care professionals to work in Wisconsin without a permanent Wisconsin license is ending on May 10, but the temporary licenses will remain available to future applicants when they apply for a permanent license. Applicants will need to apply for the “Act 10” license when they apply for a permanent license. The temporary “Act 10” license will remain active while the permanent license application is pending.

This news is important to health care systems eager to onboard professionals licensed in other states.  

The temporary health care license was created by 2021 Wisconsin Act 10. That law enabled health care professionals who were licensed in good standing in other states to immediately come to Wisconsin and work. Act 10 did have a timing element. The temporary credentials were tied to a presidential emergency declaration, which President Joe Biden ended on April 10. The law set the temporary license expiration dates at 30 days after the end of the presidential declaration.  

However, the law has a provision that survives the pandemic, and DSPS will continue to issue Act 10 licenses to individuals who also apply for a permanent license at the same time.  

Anyone who is already practicing under an Act 10 temporary license will need to file an application for a permanent license by May 10, 2023, if they wish to continue practicing in Wisconsin. Act 10 credentials will remain active for individuals who have filed a complete application for a permanent license before their Act 10 credential expires. All other Act 10 licenses will expire on May 10, 2023.  

The surviving Act 10 provision offers health care employers valuable flexibility in recruiting experienced professionals from other states. If those individuals apply for an Act 10 license at the same time they apply for a permanent license, they are considered licensed to practice by the state of Wisconsin and can immediately begin work. The out-of-state credentials must be active and in good standing to qualify. 

“This is an important flexibility that allows employers to recruit experienced health care professionals from other states,” said DSPS Secretary-designee Dan Hereth. “We know that labor market changes have presented challenges to health systems, and Act 10 credentials are a key recruiting and staffing tool that they can use to attract skilled health care workers.” 

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services has been issuing the temporary licenses to health care professionals since 2021. These “Act 10” licenses were a new type of temporary credential that allowed health care employers to quickly onboard staff to respond to surging demand resulting from COVID-19. Individuals holding clean licenses in other jurisdictions could apply for an Act 10 license and immediately begin work prior to any credentialing decisions.

“While the details of the legislation and their implementation can appear a bit confusing, the most important point is that temporary licenses remain a valuable tool for health care employers who are onboarding individuals who hold credentials in other states,” said DSPS Secretary-designee Dan Hereth.  

“We strongly encourage individuals who hold applicable credentials from other states to simultaneously apply for both a regular permanent license and an Act 10 license. This will enable them to get to work immediately. 

Again, Act 10 credentials will remain in active status while permanent applications are pending. The Department will extend expiration dates for Act 10 licenses for individuals with a pending application for a permanent license. Those expiration dates will be set at December 31, 2023, and they will be extended when necessary. Individuals who hold an Act 10 license and apply for a permanent license any time before May 10, 2023, will also have their expiration dates extended. 

For more information, please visit our Act 10 FAQs HERE.

About DSPS: The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.