Governor Laura Kelly has eased or suspended Kansas licensing rules for medical personnel and nursing home workers, in hopes of making it easier for them to attack staffing shortages.
Kelly issued two executive orders.
One allows hospital staff to perform a broader range of duties.
The other makes licensing of nursing home workers more flexible, so homes can hire people whose licenses have lapsed, and fill less-skilled jobs with workers who have little training.
Her actions come as hospital officials say patients are dying in emergency rooms of small hospitals, larger hospitals struggle with soaring staff absences, and ambulances are scrambling to find hospitals with room for their patients.
The governor declared an emergency because that allowed her to ease licensing requirements.
The declaration also suspends rules and regulations if “strict compliance” would hinder efforts to address their problems