California Announces ‘California Health Corps’ to Expand Healthcare Professionals Workforce

COVID-19 Update

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new initiative to expand the number of licensed healthcare professionals who are available to provide services at additional healthcare sites that the state will be opening to treat people affected by COVID-19 and to relieve the pressure on the healthcare system by providing care for non-COVID-19 cases. The new program is intended to match individuals who may be retired, in the process of getting licensed or nearing completion of nursing school to help care for the expected surge in patients. Under the new “California Health Corps” program, the state will compensate and provide malpractice insurance coverage to participating professionals. In announcing the program, Governor Newsom explained that the state will recruit recently retired and unemployed professionals, as well as nursing students, to the program to quickly expand the healthcare workforce available to serve Californians in the COVID-19 crisis. The governor stated, in his press conference on March 31, that over 25,000 people have signed up for the program to help.

As part of this initiative, the Governor signed a new executive order and is seeking to bring an additional 50,000 temporary beds on line.

The state’s invitation is extended to physicians (MD or D.O.), medical students, pharmacists, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses (RNs, LVNs, CNAs), nursing students, behavioral health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs), respiratory therapists, paramedics, medical assistants, and emergency medical technicians.

Applicants will engage in a two-step process: first, registration, in which age, right to work in the United States, California professional license/certification and deployment preferences will be verified; and second, when verification is complete, an application under which the state will review skills, experience, location preferences and interests to determine where an applicant matches the state’s placement needs. Hiring will occur at the time of deployment. Additional information related to pay, how employees will be assigned and for whom they will work will be forthcoming.

The California Health Corps initiative accompanies Governor Newsom’s executive order also issued on March 30 that will provide flexibility until June 30 with respect to scope of practice and required facility nursing ratios.

 

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