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Rep. James Frank’s office—
WICHITA FALLS—State Representative James B. Frank announced last week that he has filed legislation (HB548) in the 87th Texas Legislative Session to allow a faster pathway for military veteran physicians and nurses to receive a respective occupational license in Texas once they retire from active duty.
“Texas has a shortage of physicians and nurses, especially in rural areas of the state,” Frank said. “We are also the proud home of the largest number of military installations in the country. It only makes sense that active duty medical personnel that have served our armed forces in a responsible manner be allowed to continue their practices once they leave active service in the military.”
Federal law currently exempts active duty medical personnel from state occupational licensing requirements. However, those exemptions lapse once a provider leaves active duty military service. Many veteran doctors and nurses who have served in Texas would like to remain once their active service ends, but often leave due to the burdens of obtaining a Texas license.
HB 548 will allow physicians and nurses in good standing to waive into a Texas License and continue to practice in Texas once they leave active duty service if they have served at a military installation for at least a year and pledge to provide their services in a part of the state that is deemed medically underserved.
“For rural parts of Texas, this legislation can help increase the population of qualified physicians and nurses by removing a regulatory barrier that might otherwise incentivize those individuals to leave and practice in the state where they received their license,” Frank said.
“With healthcare costs so high, Texas must reduce the regulatory burdens and increase the ability for qualified medical professionals to remain in our state and provide services in medically underserved areas.”