Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has immediately suspended state licensure requirements for traveling U.S. nurses, who have valid licenses in their home states or territories, and who want to work in Florida. The suspension is slated for 90 days.
The governor said in an executive order this week that the move was needed to cover a temporary nursing shortage that was created because many Florida nurses are in Haiti to help the recovery effort from the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Willa Fuller, executive director Florida Nurses Association, says her organization supports the governor's order.
"From my understanding, some of the nurses down in south Florida are Haitian and wish to go home to help, but that would affect the staffing at their hospitals," Fuller says. "This would allow nurses at other states who have licenses that are pretty much equal to ours could come here and work and cover them in the hospital so those nurses could take short trips to Haiti. We certainly support anyone who wants to help."