The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has improved the nurse licensing process.
Courtney Phillips, CEO of DHHS, says complaints centered on the confusing and cumbersome application system.
“We’ve revised our application. We’ve made it a little bit more concise. We also improved our instructions, making them a little bit clearer,” Phillips told reporters at a news conference. “We’ve also voice automated our telephone lines. We found that our team was spending more time on the phone answering questions than they were able to process these applications.”
Phillips says the department also cleaned up its website and added more frequently asked questions.
Staff members also are in contact with nursing schools and talking with graduating students to get ahead of problems.
“We have asked the nursing schools to go ahead and submit their students’ applications prior to the May graduation,” Phillips says, “which will help us begin processing that information and collecting all the documents long before the students actually graduate, versus our previous process, which was waiting until a student graduates and then beginning the process.”
Phillips says the application completion rate has gone from 28% complete to more than 95% complete now due to the improvements.
“We’ve seen a lot of positive feedback from our partners – from the nursing schools, from the nursing professionals,” Phillips says. “In terms of: You guys are doing it. You’re making the changes. You heard us. You listened and we appreciate the effort that’s going forward.”
Phillips says all the improvements have freed up staff time to process applications.