Coronavirus updates in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott moves to bolster number of practicing nurses

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Medical staff from Riverside University Health collect nasal samples from members of the public that were referred for testing for the coronavirus at a drive-up site in Indian Wells, California on Wednesday. Taya Gray/The Desert Sun via REUTERS

Saturday's biggest developments:

  • Gov. Abbott waives some nursing license regulations

Hoping to increase number of practicing nurses, Gov. Abbott waives some licensing rules

[1:04 p.m.] Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday he would waive certain regulations to allow nursing students and retired nurses to easily join the workforce, as the need for medical professionals grows during the novel coronavirus crisis.

He said the state would allow graduate nurses and vocational nurses who haven’t yet taken the licensing exam to receive temporary permit extensions allowing them to practice. Students in their final year of nursing school can more easily meet clinical requirements. And nurses with inactive licenses and retired nurses can reactive their licenses.

“Nurses are essential to our ability to test for this virus, provide care for COVID-19 patients, and to continue providing other essential health care services. Suspending these regulations will allow us to bring additional skilled nurses into the workforce to assist with our efforts and enhance our COVID-19 response,” he said in the release. — Aliyya Swaby