Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates

  • Board of Registered Nursing COVID-19 Update with FAQs

    Dear Stakeholders –

    While California continues to navigate the uncertainty of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit its spread, the Board of Registered Nursing is committed to supporting our licensees, applicants, and consumers throughout the course of this pandemic and to provide continuity of service at all times. The Board of Registered Nursing is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, coordinating with the state and local governments, and working with our partners to protect the health of Californians.

    The Board of Registered Nursing understands the ability to perform your jobs with a license is a priority. We appreciate your patience as we work on implementing new technologies to work remotely and adhere to social distancing guidelines. We apologize in advance for any delays in reaching our staff or potential delays in our processing times.

    We have received a number of inquiries from our licensees. We are providing the below FAQ’s in an effort to provide information.

    The best general guidance will continue to come from the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • 1. Will Continuing Education Requirements Be Postponed?

      For information regarding Department of Consumer Affairs regulation waivers due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please visit the DCA Waivers page.

      **Please Note: The DCA waiver relating to reactivated and restored licenses only applies to licenses in a “retired, inactive, or canceled” status. BRN licensees that do not renew on time are placed in a “Delinquent” status, which is not included within the waiver.

    • 2. Are There Fee Waivers Available?

      For information regarding Department of Consumer Affairs regulation waivers due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please visit the DCA Waivers page.

      **Please Note: The DCA waiver relating to reactivated and restored licenses only applies to licenses in a “retired, inactive, or canceled” status. BRN licensees that do not renew on time are placed in a “Delinquent” status, which is not included within the waiver.

    • 3. Should My Business or Practice Remain Open?

      The Board of Registered Nursing does not have authority to close businesses or practices solely as a result of COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to assess whether your business is an essential job function as outlined by the Governor and follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check with your local county health department to determine what activities are also considered essential and non-essential.

    • 4. My License is Retired. Can I Renew to Help Combat Coronavirus?

      For information on how to join the California Health Corps to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the California Health Corps website.

      For information regarding Department of Consumer Affairs regulation waivers due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please visit the DCA Waivers page.

      The application to restore a license to full, active status from inactive, retired or cancelled status to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be found at covid-19.dca.ca.gov/backToActive.

      **Please Note: The DCA waiver relating to reactivated and restored licenses only applies to licenses in a “retired, inactive, or canceled” status. BRN licensees that do not renew on time are placed in a “Delinquent” status, which is not included within the waiver.

    • 5. My Exam Was Canceled. What Does that Mean?

      The Board of Registered Nursing is working to ensure that applications are processed once all required documents from schools, agencies, and other states are received. Your Authorization to Test (ATT) will come from Pearson VUE (the organization that provides the test administration and services test development).

      For more information on testing that is available, please visit the Pearson Vue NCLEX website.

    • 6. I am licensed in a state outside of California. Does California allow licensing reciprocity during the State of Emergency?

      If you are a licensed healthcare provider in a state other than California, please visit the Emergency Medical Services Authority for information to be able to practice in California. Please visit the “Authorization of Out-Of-State Medical Personnel” section on this website.

    • 7. Have the Fingerprinting requirements changed?

      The Department of Justice (DOJ) has communicated to DCA BRN that there has been no change to their fingerprinting process or requirements and therefore no change or waiver is being granted to the BRN’s fingerprint or background check licensing requirement. Here is a link to the Fingerprint Request Form on the BRN website and a link to all Live Scan locations within California. Please be advised, several LiveScan Operators are temporarily closed or have reduced their hours due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please use the this link provided by the California Department of Justice, to determine the best Live Scan Operator for your needs. It is recommended that you call ahead of time to verify hours of operation and services being provided during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    • 8.TOEFL Test

      The Board of Registered Nursing will accept TOEFL Test scores that were either taken at an authorized test center, or due to public health concerns, students may take advantage of the temporarily offering of the TOEFL Special Home Edition test in selected areas. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the TOEFL test taken at an authorized test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online. For more information, visit the TOEFL at home website.

    • 9. My application has been found deficient in areas of education will these deficiencies be waived by the board?

      At this time, the DCA waivers do not allow for applications that are deficient in education to be waived. You will need to complete the education requirements in order to continue with the application process.

    • 10. My application was found ‘Not Eligible’ will this decision be waived?

      At this time, the DCA waivers do not allow for applications that have been deemed ‘Not Eligible’ to be waived.

    • 11. Can I waive the NCLEX exam until the pandemic is over?

      The NCLEX exam requirement is not being waived, at this time. NCLEX exams are a requirement for licensure and are currently being conducted through Pearson Vue. For more information on testing that is available, please visit the Pearson Vue NCLEX website.

    The Board of Registered Nursing reminds all licensees to be particularly mindful and respectful that this is a time of high anxiety for all Californians.

    If you have any additional inquiries we recommend you use the emails listed below:

    Applicant Services
    Licensing requirements, application status, advanced practice certification
    BRN.Licensing@dca.ca.gov

    Licensee Services
    License/certificate renewal, continuing education, license verification
    Renewals.BRN@dca.ca.gov

    Fingerprint Inquiries
    BRNFingerprints@dca.ca.gov

    Enforcement Program
    Complaint process, license discipline and convictions
    Enforcement.BRN@dca.ca.gov

    Nursing Education Consultants
    Scope of practice issues/questions
    NEC.BRN@dca.ca.gov

    Online (BreEZe) Technical Support
    BreEZe registration/logon issues, locked or retired account assistance
    BreEZe@dca.ca.gov
    Phone: (916) 557-1208


  • FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Now Available

    Source: California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now accepting applications for funeral assistance and reimbursement through its COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

    Expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation typically include, but are not limited to:

    • Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
    • Transfer of remains
    • Casket or urn
    • Burial plot or cremation niche
    • Marker or headstone
    • Clergy or officiant services
    • Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
    • Use of funeral home equipment or staff
    • Cremation or interment costs
    • Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
    • Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances

    Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state.

    COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline

    Apply for Assistance:
    To begin the application process, individuals can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585. The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

    Find a checklist of documentation needed prior to your call by clicking here.

    Eligibility:
    To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet the following conditions:

    1. The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
    2. The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
    3. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
    4. There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

    A minor child cannot apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

    Gather Documentation:
    Once an applicant has applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and is provided an application number, they may provide supporting documentation to FEMA a few ways:

    • Upload to their DisasterAssistance.gov account
    • Fax documents: 855-261-3452
    • Mail documents: P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782

    If you are eligible for funeral assistance, you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.

    Deadline:
    At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA will communicate a specific deadline once established.

    Learn more about the reimbursement process or FAQs by visiting FEMA’s website. Applicants can also access a video overview of the process here.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expands Statewide in April

    Vaccinations opening for all Californians aged 50 and up April 1st, and 16 and up April 15th.

    California is allocating COVID-19 vaccines as they become available to ensure equitable distribution. Vaccinations are prioritized according to risk and age.

    Healthcare workers and long-term care residents (Phase 1A) Now vaccinating

    People with a high chance of exposure and those 65
    or older (Phase 1B)

    Sector populations with high chance of exposure:

    • Agriculture and food
    • Education and childcare
    • Emergency services
    Now vaccinating

    Individuals age 16 or older at higher risk

    People with certain significant high-risk:

    • Medical conditions
    • Disabilities
    • Illnesses
    • Living spaces
    • Work environments
    Now vaccinating
    Individuals 50 or older Starts April 1, 2021

    Every Californian 16 or older

    Vaccination of people younger than 16 will start as soon as the COVID-19 vaccines
    are approved for them

    Starts April 15, 2021

    For further details, please review the California Department of Public Health’s Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Guidelines and Provider Bulletin. California’s COVID-19 vaccine website with additional information and resources is available here.

    Every Californian can verify their eligibility or schedule with My Turn by signing up at myturn.ca.gov or calling (833) 422-4255.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expands Statewide Beginning March 15, 2021

    Beginning March 15, 2021, healthcare providers may use their clinical judgment to vaccinate individuals age 16-64 who are deemed to be at high risk from COVID-19 as the direct result of certain conditions and settings, as specified in the California Department of Public Health’s Provider Bulletin:

    • Individuals with one or more severe health conditions
    • Individuals with developmental or other severe disabilities or illness
    • Individuals who live or work in a high risk congregate residential setting
    • Public transit workers

    For further details, please review the California Department of Public Health’s Provider Bulletin, Fact Sheet and COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guidelines. California’s COVID-19 vaccine website with additional information and resources is available here.

    Individuals with the above conditions are strongly encouraged to seek vaccination with a primary health care provider or system, or in an alternate clinical setting. Additional ways individuals can find appointments are through pharmacies, local health departments, community pop-up clinics, online at MyTurn.ca.gov and by calling the COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255.

  • How to Get Vaccinated

    UPDATE:Federal Retail Pharmacy Program & Vaccine Appointments: The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program has been activated with select pharmacy partners. California’s current pharmacy partners are CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Albertsons. Pharmacy partners are now offering COVID-19 vaccines in their select store locations. For eligibility and scheduling, visit the California Department of Public Health’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program page.

    Learn more about how to get vaccinated by visiting the state’s COVID-19 website https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#How-to-get-vaccinated. The state’s website has information on vaccination eligibility, how to sign up for an appointment via MyTurn.ca.gov, local health jurisdiction resources, and more. Additionally, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen pharmacies now offer limited appointments for free COVID-19 vaccinations in select areas. Visit https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#How-to-get-vaccinated for more information.

  • Liability Protection for Licensees Participating in Vaccination Efforts

    On January 27, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order that extends liability protections to specified licensees participating in the State’s vaccination administration program. It also directs the boards, bureaus and committees within the Department of Consumer Affairs that regulate healthcare professionals to prioritize certain investigations relating to vaccine administration. Read the full text of the Executive Order here.

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Administration by Registered Nurses and Others Authorized Under the Nursing Practice Act

    Please be advised that ordering and administering the COVID-19 vaccination is covered under the scope of practice for registered nurses licensed by the Board of Registered Nursing (Board) (including holders of a valid temporary license issued by the Board) – these individuals are legally authorized to independently order and administer the COVID-19 vaccine pursuant to the registered nurse scope of practice found at section 2725 of the Business and Professions Code. The Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorizations for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines state that the respective vaccines “may be administered by a vaccination provider without an individual prescription for each vaccine recipient.”

    Additionally, holders of valid interim permits issued by the Board may administer the vaccine under the direct supervision of a licensed registered nurse if done in accordance with the provisions of California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 1414, subdivision (c). Nursing students may administer the vaccine pursuant to an order from a licensed physician, registered nurse, or anyone legally authorized to order the vaccine for a patient, when such services are incidental to their course of study at a Board-approved prelicensure school of nursing.

  • The Board of Registered Nursing (Board) follows all guidelines and orders issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) relating to COVID-19. CDPH’s Immunization Branch is working with local health departments to deploy California’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Initial program enrollment is limited to sites selected by the local health departments.

    Please be advised that according to CDPH’s allocation guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine, nursing students who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their work in any role in direct health care or long-term settings are included in Phase 1a of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. For more information regarding California’s vaccination plan, please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#When-can-I-get-vaccinated.

    Nursing programs are encouraged to contact the county health department to inquire about the process for students to be vaccinated. Students may be required to submit a letter from the school and or show their school ID badge to obtain the vaccination.

    The vaccine is strongly encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Please contact your health care provider first to inquire about access to the vaccine. If your health care provider is not prepared to provide the vaccine, please check the website of your county health department for more information.

    Visit COVID19.ca.gov for more information.

  • Notice Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Administration

    UPDATE: On January 7, 2021, the California Department of Public Health released new guidance on vaccine prioritization. The guidance recognized the need to balance the prioritization of scarce vaccine resources with the goal of achieving community immunity for all Californians. Additionally, the guidance noted situations in which the health departments and providers may offer doses promptly to people in lower priority groups, including provider flexibility to eliminate vaccine spoilage.

    The Board of Registered Nursing previously provided licensees with information on their role in maintaining COVID-19 phase structure as they administer the COVID-19 vaccine. The Board is incorporating this new guidance and any future guidance issued into its review and evaluation of complaints that could result in disciplinary actions against licensees involved in COVID-19 administration.

    With respect to vaccine prioritization, the Board of Registered Nursing will prioritize the investigation of complaints against licensees who engage in the diversion of COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine administration supplies provided by the federal government that is undertaken for financial gain in violation of applicable federal and state guidance.


    As the COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, the Board of Registered Nursing is supporting the State’s effort to ensure that all providers follow the standards for allocating and administering COVID-19 vaccines. In particular, Board of Registered Nursing licensees must adhere to the current federal and state prioritization standards for allocating and administering COVID-19 vaccines in phases. The standards are available on the California Department of Public Health’s website.

    For more information, please see our Vaccine Distribution Guidance document.

  • The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) is issuing waivers that allow providers who hold a license in another state to work in California during the declared COVID-19 emergency.
    These waivers are being issued for the following reasons:
    • Medical providers physically coming into California to assist at California medical facilities
    • Medical providers who are not physically located in California but are contracted to provide telehealth to the clients of a California medical facility.
    • Medical providers who are not physically located and licensed in California, whose clients have moved or are moving to California permanently may receive a temporary 30-day waiver to help transition their client.  This waiver is meant solely to help transition the client to the California healthcare system. At this time, no extensions to the initial 30-day waiver are being offered.  Providers who want to continue working with their clients longer than the 30-day temporary waiver period should request information regarding obtaining California licensure.
    This waiver process allowing EMSA to authorize out-of-state medical professionals to work in California will only be available for the duration of the Executive Order (Governor’s Emergency Proclamation on March 4, 2020). For more information on the waiver please visit the EMSA website or email covid19@emsa.ca.gov.
  • Nursing Students May Supplement Healthcare Staff During Recent Spike in COVID-19 Cases
  • Department of Consumer Affairs Waivers
  • Application to restore license to full, active status from inactive, retired or cancelled status to help during the covid-19 pandemic
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  • NCLEX test delivery is commencing at a subset of U.S. and Canada based Pearson VUE test centers on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
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