COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

General | Continuing Education | Licensing & Registration | Professional Education | Social Work & Mental Health Pofessions | Nursing | Pharmacy

General

  1. What is considered an “essential” position or entity under Executive Order 202.6?

Answer: A list of areas deemed “essential” at this time is available here. Professionals should follow appropriate precautions and ensure social distancing to the greatest extent possible when providing essential services. Additional guidance for health care professionals is available here.

  1. Governor Cuomo has asked for volunteers to provide healthcare services. What forms do I need to complete to sign up to volunteer?

Answer: The New York State Department of Health has a form to complete. Please review Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders and the information on this website to determine if you are exempted from NYS licensure and/or registration requirements.

Guidance on COVID-19 related exposure and prevention best practices for health care providers

  1. Where can I find guidance on COVID-19 related exposure and prevention best practices for health care professionals?

For the most up to date guidance on all COVID-19 information relating to health care providers, please continue to check the New York Department of Health “Information for Providers” website and the Centers for Disease Control website.

Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

  1. Are CE requirements being waived? 

Answer: Not at this time.  The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance. 

  1. Can a licensee complete 100% of the required continuing education through self-study activities offered by approved providers for their profession?

Answer: Some regulations restrict licensees to a certain percentage of self-study for continuing education requirements. In response to the evolving situation with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and for those licensees whose registrations are due to renew March 1-June 1, 2020, the Department will grant an adjustment to all licensees to complete up to 100% of the continuing education as self-study, so long as it is taken from a Department-approved provider for the specific profession and is in an acceptable subject area for the specific profession. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

Professional Licensing and/or Registration Fees

  1. Are Professional Licensing and/or Registration fees being waived? 

Answer: Not at this time.  The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance. 

  1. If I am a NYS licensee returning to practice to assist in the COVID-19 response efforts, do I need to re-register to practice?

Answer: Currently, pursuant to Executive Orders, NYS licensed physicians, physician’s assistants, registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners do not need to be registered to practice in the State of New York. All other NYS licensed professionals are required to be currenting registered in order to practice.

  1. If I hold an out-of-state license, and I am not licensed in NYS, can I practice in the State of New York to assist in the COVID-19 response efforts?

Answer: Currently, pursuant to Executive Orders, out-of-state licensed physicians, registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, and respiratory therapists do not need to hold a NYS license or registration to practice in the State of New York. All other NYS licensed professionals are required to be licensed in the State of New York in order to practice.

Professional Education Program Review

  1. I am a student enrolled in a licensure-qualifying program. I have a question regarding meeting the clinical hour requirements.

Answer: Please first contact your program director regarding this. If there are any challenges, please ask your director to contact us at opprogs@nysed.gov

Social Work and Mental Health Professions

  1. Can a licensee practice the profession by using distance technology?

Answer:  Yes. There are practice alerts and guidelines that address this type of intervention by an individual licensed and registered in New York. As a licensed professional you are responsible for confidentiality and record-keeping, to the same extent as when providing direct, in-person services.

If you are not licensed in New York, you may not practice a restricted profession by technology or in person.

  1. Can a permit holder, intern or other person only authorized to practice under supervision provide client services by distance technology rather than in-person?

Answer:  Yes. The supervisor remains responsible for the assessment, evaluation and treatment of each client seen by the supervisee.  Supervised client contact hours completed through distance technology may be submitted on Form 4B, as part of the supervised experience requirement for licensure and do not have to be designated as such.

  1. Can a Department-approved provider of continuing education convert an in-person course or program to a distance or self-study format without prior approval or review?

Answer:  Yes. The Department-approved provider may convert all or part of a course or program to live online or self-study format. The provider is responsible for ensuring attendance and participation by the learners, whether through tests or other measures.

  1. If an employment site is closed for an extended period of time, will a limited permit holder be granted extra time to complete the supervised experience?

Answer:   At this time, there are no procedures or processes to cancel permits or extend the available time. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1. If a student placed in an internship by a license-qualifying program is not able to complete the required hours, how will this be handled?

Answer: The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance. 

Nursing

  1.  Are pregnant nurses at increased risk if they care for patients with COVID-19?

Answer: Pregnant healthcare personnel (HCP) should follow risk assessment and infection control guidelines for HCP exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, which are available on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.   The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings.  Information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited; facilities may want to consider limiting exposure of pregnant HCP to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, especially during higher risk procedures (e.g., aerosol-generating procedures) if feasible based on staffing availability.   Additional information is available on the New York State Department of Health (DOH) website and through DOH’s Coronavirus Hotline 1-888-364-3065.   Please continue to monitor these websites and hotlines for updated guidance.

  1.  Are nurses over the age of 65 at increased risk if they care for patients with COVID-19?

Answer:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has risk assessment and infection control guidelines for health care personnel (HCP) who are exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.  The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcaresettings.  Additional information is available on the New York State Department of Health (DOH) website and through DOH’s Coronavirus Hotline 1-888-364-3065. Please continue to monitor these websites and hotlines for updated guidance.

  1.  Are nurses who are immunocompromised or who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, at increased risk if they care for patients with COVID-19?

Answer:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has risk assessment and infection control guidelines for health care personnel (HCP) who are exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.  The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices 4 is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings.  Additional information is available on the New York State Department of Health website. 

  1.  I am a travel nurse.  Where can I learn about New York’s infection control and prevention standards relating to the care of patients with contagious respiratory infections?

Answer: The adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings. The most current and reliable infection control and prevention strategies related to COVID-19 may be accessed on the CDC website.
The OSHA has developed interim guidance to help prevent worker exposure to COVID-19 which may be accessed on the United States Department of Labor’s website. Please continue to monitor these websites for updated guidance.

  1.  Is New York State waiving the license or registration fees for nurses as part of the state of emergency?   Is New York State expediting its nurse licensure process to help address the COVID 19 pandemic?

Answer: New York State is not currently waving licensure or registration fees for nurses. Currently there is no backlog in processing nurse license applications. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance. 

  1.  Can I get an extension of my nurse exam ATT? 

Answer: For guidance relative to the NYCLEX exam, please contact Pearson Vue. In addition, you should also monitor the Department’s website for additional guidance.  

Pharmacy

  1.  Due to the current circumstances regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS’ state of emergency, will the board office make this one of the special circumstances in which we allow an exam ATT extension? AND will we allow an extension greater than 90 days?

Answer: For updated information regarding deadlines and extensions relative to the MPJE and NAPLEX exams in light of COVID 19, please continue to monitor the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). In addition, The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is currently working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to tackle issues relating to COVID-19. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance.

  1.  Where can I find guidelines pertaining to personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Answer: For the most up to date guidance on PPE usage, please continue to reference the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) website and USP’s most recent guidance.

  1. Will the live cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic life support (BLS) course requirement for pharmacist immunization certification be temporarily suspended to permit pharmacists to take CPR or BLS courses online or virtually to satisfy their required CPR or BLS certification for their immunization privilege?

    Answer: Yes, the live CPR or BLS course requirement for pharmacist immunization certification is temporarily suspended to permit pharmacists to take CPR or BLS courses online or virtually to satisfy their required CPR or BLS certification for their immunization privilege.  The temporary suspension of this live course requirement will be in effect until 30 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202. All other pharmacist immunization certification requirements remain in effect. For more information regarding the pharmacist immunization certification requirements, see: 
    http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pharm/pharmimmunizations.htm

  2. Where can I find information pertaining to the dispensing of Clozapine during COVID-19?

    Answer: For the most up to date information on Clozapine dispensing during COVID-19, please visit the New York State Office of Mental Health's Guidance website.

  3. During the COVID-19 outbreak are pharmacists still required to document when a patient declines medication counseling?

    Answer: Pursuant to Executive Order 202.10, which, among other things, relieves recordkeeping requirements to the extent necessary for health care providers to perform tasks as may be necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmacists are not required to document when a patient declines medication counseling. However, to the extent practical, pharmacist should try to do so.

  4. Where can hospitals find guidance regarding access to Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19?

Answer: The New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) Division of Epidemiology recently released a health advisory to hospitals containing such information.

Last Updated: March 27, 2020