MEDIA CONTACTJeff Powell, (402) 471-6223, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln, Neb. – During the 2022 Legislative Session, the Nebraska legislature amended Nebraska Revised Statute § 38-131, which requires the state to submit fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct national criminal background checks on certain critical healthcare workers.
Unfortunately, the FBI has not yet approved the statute language and is requiring Nebraska to revise the statute before the FBI begins processing the national background checks. Since the legislature is not scheduled to convene until January 2023, a statutory change will not be possible until that time.
The delay in conducting national background checks has resulted in healthcare workers such as audiologists, speech-language pathologists, licensed independent mental health practitioners, occupational therapists, and occupational therapy assistants from receiving their licenses and providing critical services to Nebraskans.
To avoid a healthcare workforce shortage emergency, and until the Nebraska legislature convenes, Governor Ricketts today signed Executive Order No. 22-04, which waives the following statute and regulations to ensure Nebraskans are able to access needed healthcare professionals. The Executive Order does as follows:
“Since being made aware of the federal request for this statute revision, DHHS has been proactive in finding a solution and greatly appreciates the expediency in the Governor's issuance of the Executive Order," said CEO Dannette R. Smith. “As soon as the Executive Order was signed, DHHS began moving forward with processing so these critical healthcare workers can receive their license and begin helping Nebraskans."
In addition to the Nebraska State Patrol fingerprint background checks, Nebraska runs applicants through a series of checks and balances to protect public safety. These screenings include: