Gov. Ricketts declares hospital staffing state of emergency

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts declared a hospital staffing state of emergency at a press briefing on Thursday.

The announcement comes as the governor has expressed concerns about a shortage of healthcare workers in the state.

Gov. Ricketts said the state of emergency will allow him to bring back an executive order that waives some licensing requirements for hospitals. This will allow some retired or inactive medical professionals to work in Nebraska. The executive order will also change continuing education requirements and waive a statute that sets specific supervision ratio requirements.

Ricketts says he will also enact a directed health measure to limit certain elective surgeries at Nebraska hospitals. Bryan Health and Nebraska Medical Center have already limited those surgeries, but the DHM will limit the surgeries in hospitals statewide. That will take effect next Monday, August 30.

As for the state's COVID-19 dashboard, the governor made it clear there are no current plans to bring back the state's case tracking service.