Today, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 889, permitting individuals from foreign countries who have received the equivalent required education to take the Pennsylvania examination for licensure as a professional nurse or dietetics-nutritionist.
According to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, on March 3, 2021, Representative Brett R. Miller posted a memorandum
with the subject, “Updating International Nursing Licensure Exam Requirements,” amending the act of May 22, 1951 (P.L.317, No.69), known as The Professional Nursing Law. “
Bill 889 amends the “Professional Nursing Law” from May 22, 1951. This amendment permits individuals from foreign countries who have graduated from a nursing program or dietetics-nutrition program but have not received a license in the foreign country to take the Pennsylvania examination for licensure as a professional nurse or dietetics-nutritionist if the educational program completed in the foreign country was equal to the educational requirements in the commonwealth.
Miller’s memorandum reads:
“In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation (formerly HB 573) to amend The Professional Nursing Law (Act 69 of 1951) to allow the State Board of Nursing to approve graduates of international professional nursing education programs to sit for the RN licensure examination, provided such programs are determined to be equivalent to that which is required in Pennsylvania.
Currently, the Professional Nursing Law allows graduates of nursing programs in countries outside of the United States to sit for the RN licensure examination, but only if they have first been licensed, registered, or duly recognized in their home country. If such graduates move to Pennsylvania before obtaining licensure in their home country, despite the fact they have completed their education and obtained their nursing degree, Pennsylvania’s current law prohibits them from being able to sit for the licensure examination here. In fact, PA’s current law requires qualified students to either return to the country where they obtained their degree in order to get their license or go to another state in the U.S. to get licensed, and only after either of these options, then apply to Pennsylvania to sit for the licensure examination in PA. This does not make sense and is an unnecessary impediment to individuals seeking licensure.”
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