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Representative Roemer's Bill Advancing Healthcare Workforce and Services Heads to Governor

May 12, 2021
Bill Roemer News

State Rep. Bill Roemer’s (R-Richfield) legislation to boost the state healthcare workforce has now cleared both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly. The emergency legislation, House Bill 6, is a timely bill due to the ongoing issues surrounding the pandemic. Roemer spoke to it on the House floor.

“It is critical that we pass this bill immediately so that graduating nurses in the class of 2021 can get into our healthcare workforce quicker,” said Roemer. “Among other things, this bill helps to take care of some of these professional barriers as it pertains to the pandemic, and I’m happy to see it finally heading to the Governor.”

House Bill 6 makes changes to ease Ohio’s regulations, more quickly expand the healthcare workforce, increase access to services, and remove unnecessary burdens on employers and workers.

Specifically, some of the provisions of the bill include:

  • Extends a previous deadline date from March 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021 that suspends the requirement that a prospective nurse pass the licensure examination, and permits them to receive a temporary license to practice pending meeting all other requirements
  • Codifies the expansion of allowing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines and allows pharmacists to also test for COVID-19, harmonizing state law with the rules adopted by the State Board of Pharmacy
  • Reduces barriers to entry in the field of pharmacy by allowing students 17 years of age in a board-approved career tech program to register as pharmacy technician trainees
  • Allows the Board of Pharmacy to extend the length of a pharmacy technician trainee registration to allow flexibility for applicants to finish their required education during the pandemic
  • Codifies guidance issued by the Department of Education to schools that they should be flexible regarding the number of hours or weeks of field experience that a student must complete to be eligible for an education license or endorsement
  • Expands the types of degrees required to obtain the newly-created school nurses registration to include any bachelor’s degree, as is consistent with current rules promulgated by the State Board of Education

House Bill 6 passed the Ohio House back in March, and the Senate approved the bill today with a few amendments, including a provision requiring written consent from a parent or guardian before a minor can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The House concurred on those amendments. 

The bill now heads to the governor to be signed into law.