Ontario nursing groups seek faster licensing for international nurses: Weekly regulatory news
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The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy. Ontario nursing organizations seek faster licensing for international nurses, healthcare organizations urge U.S. governors to extend expanded telehealth flexibilities, and more in our latest Week in Brief.

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Ontario nursing groups call for speedier license processing for international nurses

Organizations like the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and the Ontario Nurses’ Association are calling for faster license processing for internationally trained nurses in the province. Though these organizations have long identified international nurses as a possible way to strengthen their workforces, pandemic-related labor shortages in hospitals have intensified the push to license these workers more quickly. A 2020 report from Ontario’s fairness commissioner found that even though 14,633 internationally educated nurses were seeking licensure through the Ontario College of Nurses, just over 2,000 of these applicants became members that year. Read more at the Sudbury Star.

Proposed federal bill seeks to expunge cannabis-related misdemeanors

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently proposed a bill that would facilitate an expungement method for low-level marijuana-related convictions. The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act also contains provisions allowing for the speedier clearance of non-felony cannabis offenses that may still linger in the federal system. Representative Troy Carter, one of the bill’s sponsors, said even misdemeanors without a formal conviction could still prohibit citizens from accessing many of the public and private services they need, including education and occupational licensing. Read more about the new legislation at Financial Regulation News.

Healthcare organizations urge governments to extend expanded telehealth flexibilities

Over 230 U.S. health organizations have signed a letter asking governors from all 50 states to extend credentialing flexibilities for telehealth visits that were first implemented in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These flexibilities, which were expanded to some extent by every state, simplified the telehealth visit process for patients throughout the country, allowing many to visit with providers from out of state. With the expansions expiring, patients throughout the U.S. have received notice that they must either cancel their telehealth visits or travel over state lines to conduct them. Signatories of the letter are urging government leaders to develop more permanent solutions improving access to care for their citizens. Read more at Fierce Healthcare.

Oklahoma to push back medical cannabis licensing moratorium start date

The start date for Oklahoma’s moratorium on medical cannabis licensing, intended to give regulators time to clean house with pending applications, has been pushed back from August 1 to August 26. Though the bill’s verbiage specifies a start date of August 1, the legislation did not earn more than two thirds of the congressional vote, which by state requirements means that it can not take effect sooner than 90 days after adjournment. In a press release, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) announced it had made a mistake in interpreting the results of the vote, and executive director Adria Berry said the agency will be checking all legislation concerning OMMA to avoid repeating this mistake. Read more at Cannabis Business Times.

UK MPs call for speedy regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures

The U.K. House of Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee is pushing for faster government action in the currently unregulated field of non-surgical cosmetic procedures. This follows the publication of the committee’s report on the impact of body image on personal health, which describes an environment in which vulnerable clients are exploited by providers who are allowed to practice without any regulated credentials. The report proposes a robust licensing regime that, according to the committee, would create safety standards that “anyone seeking treatment has a right to expect.” Read more about the report and its suggested provisions at Cosmetics Business.

More news:

  • Investigators from the Washington Medical Commission are looking into complaints against Dr. Ryan Cole, a pathologist based in Idaho whose laboratory examines biological samples from care providers in the two states (as well as a few others) to make diagnoses for patients. Cole, who currently serves on a public health board despite having advocated against COVID-19 vaccines, has released a 40-page response to these complaints, alleging them to be political attacks.
  • Mark Guilfoyle, an Iowa-licensed physician, has been sanctioned by the state’s Board of Medicine – three years after receiving similar sanctions from the New Hampshire Board of Medicine for his work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The New Hampshire board concluded the doctor had failed to find evidence of breast cancer in several patients who were later diagnosed with it. The Iowa board’s sanctions disallow Guilfoyle from reading mammograms while practicing under his state license.

Also noteworthy:

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IN BRIEF

Week in Brief Sept. 12

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The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
New Mexico drops immigration barriers to practicing law, Nova Scotia provides funding to speed up licensing for internationally educated nurses, and more in our weekly look at the world of regulation.

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Jordan Milian
Written byJordan Milian
Jordan Milian is a writer covering government regulation and occupational licensing for Ascend, with a professional background in journalism and marketing.

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