Nebraska Governor Takes Action to Help Hospitals Increase Staffing

LINCOLN, NE (STL.News) Governor Pete Ricketts announced two measures to help hospitals in Nebraska address their staffing needs.

The Governor issued Executive Order (EO) 21-12 to expand the pool of healthcare professionals who are eligible to care for Nebraskans.  Among its provisions, the EO authorizes the credentialing of retired or inactive healthcare professionals, defers certain continuing education requirements, and suspends various statutes to allow new healthcare providers seeking a license to begin practice.  EO 21-12 is effective immediately and will remain in effect through the end of 2021.

Additionally, Gov. Ricketts announced that the State of Nebraska has issued a Directed Health Measure (DHM) to respond to the hospital staffing shortage.  The DHM suspends inpatient Class D and Class E elective surgeries for all Acute Care, Critical Care, and Children’s Hospitals.  These are elective surgeries that can wait four weeks or longer without substantially changing a patient’s outcome.  While some hospitals have already taken this step, the DHM extends it as a requirement for all hospitals in Nebraska.  The DHM takes effect on August 30, 2021 and will remain in force through September 30, 2021 unless renewed.

To facilitate these actions, Governor Ricketts declared a hospital staffing emergency as part of the EO.  The staffing emergency declaration is different, and narrower in scope, than the previous coronavirus pandemic emergency.

Full text of EO 21-12 is available by clicking here.  The newly issued DHM is available by clicking here.

Video from today’s press conference is available by clicking here.