The State Board of Health is empowered to make all necessary and reasonable rules of a general nature for the protection of the public health and safety; for the general amelioration of the sanitary and hygienic conditions within the state; for the suppression and prevention of infectious, contagious, and communicable diseases; for the proper enforcement of quarantine, isolation, and control of such diseases; and for the proper control of chemical exposures that may result in adverse health effects to the public. The Department of Health is the state agency responsible for implementing the Board's rules.
The Board updates its rules on a continuing basis. The Board must follow the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") to amend, repeal or adopt a rule.
The following questionnaire must also be utilized for filing proposed rules: Questionnaire For Filing Proposed Rules.
An essential part of the APA allows the public to comment on any rule being amended, repealed, or proposed, and the Board values your comments and questions.
Please see the Final Rules Table of Contents to view the Board's current rules.
Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. §12-75-114 and under the authority of Executive Order 21-14, to meet and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Healthcare System of Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Health identifies the following statutes, orders, and rules related to licensure of healthcare professionals to suspend for the duration of the public health emergency:
Health Facility Services Rules to Suspend
- Relaxation of Credentialing Process for Hospitals
Allow for fast-track of clinical medical staff and hospital non-employed staff during this current pandemic. Applies to credentialing medical staff. Hospital and Related Institutions Rules, Section 6 A and B. See Ark. Code Ann. § 20-9-212.
- Qualified Medical Professional Definition
Definition of Qualified Medical Professional, a Physician working within their scope of practice.
- Qualified Medical Professional also includes:
- Physician assistant
- Nurse practitioner
- Clinical nurse specialist
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist
- Certified nurse-midwife
- Clinical social worker
- Clinical psychologist
- Anesthesiologist’s Assistant
- Registered dietician or nutrition professional
- Hospital and Related Institutions Rules, Section 3.
- Qualified Medical Professional also includes:
Emergency Medical Services Rules to Suspend
- Emergency Vehicle Operator's (EVO)
Education requirements are waived. Civilian drivers may be utilized. Section V. Permitting of Ground Emergency Vehicles B. Vehicle General Standards A. 10. a-d (Page 44)
- Ambulance staffing requirement
Suspend to allow ambulance services to staff ambulances with the highest level of trained personnel available. Section V. Permitting of Ground Emergency Vehicles B. Vehicle General Standards C. Ambulance Staffing Requirements 1 – 7 (Pages 28-30)
- Tiered Response
Removal of the emergency medical dispatcher certification to allow for services to use existing EMS dispatchers to screen non-emergent calls and prioritize emergencies. Section IV, Ground Ambulance Service Licensure Classification Standards C. 1. a. – f. (page 17-20)
State Medical Board Rules to Suspend
- Criminal Background Check (CBC) Temporary License
Allows the Board to process and license applicants while waiting to receive the Criminal Background Check results. §17-95-306
- Physician Assistant - Qualifications for Licensure
Removes the requirements for PAs to submit letters of recommendation or proof of their bachelor’s degree. §17-105-105(b)(7); §17-105-102(b)(7); Rule No. 24, Section 2
- COVID-19 Resident Temp
This allows the Medical Board to license Medical Residents who have completed at least 1 year of postgraduate training with the written recommendation of their program director. §17-95-406
- International Medical Graduate Temporary License
This allows the Medical Board to license pending IMG applicants who are completing their 3rd year of Post Graduate Training (PGT) outside of Arkansas. §17-95-403(b)(3)(iii)(b)(1)
- Respiratory Therapist Temporary License
This allows the Medical Board to grant a Temporary License for new Respiratory Therapist graduates prior to examination. §17-99-305
Arkansas State Board of Nursing Rules to Suspend
- Continuing education
Waiving CEs for Renewal and reinstatement of a nursing license (inactive for less than five years) Rule Chapter 2 Section VII(C) and Chapter 2, Section IV(A)(5)
- Simulation in nursing education programs
Allows nursing educations programs or faculty to provide scenarios that are similar to real patient experiences. Rule Chapter 6, Section II(I)(4)
- Preceptors in nursing students’ clinical rotations
Utilize nursing students in the clinical setting as paid staff and coordinating this experience with the student’s educational program’s objectives. Rule Chapter 6, Section II(F)(3)(c)
- Nurse Licensure Compact
Waives rules for a nurse to obtain a nursing license in their primary state of residence.
Rule Chapter 2, Section III(D)(402)(4)
MA-C certifications for nursing students
- Allow students in their final semester of a nursing program to be certified as a Medication Assistant-Certified (MA-C.) §17-87-701(a)(2), §17-87-704(1)(B), §17-87-705 (a)(2), Rules Chapter 8, Section II, B; Chapter 3, Chapter 8, Section III, B: Section VII
Temporary permit for students
Allows the Board to issue temporary permits to nursing students who are in their final semester of an LPN-to-RN program. §17-87-307 and Rule Chapter 2, Section I(C)