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December 22, 2016
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JP O'Hare

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New York State Education Department Announces First Online Professional Licensing Applications Now Available

Enhancement Streamlines Process for Nursing and Occupational Therapy Applicants

Nursing and Occupational Therapy applicants may now submit initial applications for licensure online, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced today.  This is the first opportunity for professional licensing applicants to submit forms, as well as pay their application and first registration fee, online.

“We constantly strive to make it simpler and more efficient for the public to interact with the Education Department,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said.  “The online service we’re announcing today is a critical first step in our efforts to make it easier for individuals to submit their applications for professional licensure in New York.

“New York’s unique system of professional regulation is recognized as a model for public protection,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said.  “This new online service will save both time and effort for Nursing and Occupational Therapy applicants and this is just the beginning of the enhancements we are striving to make to improve the customer experience and streamline the processing of professional licensing applications.”

“The State Education Department’s new online licensing capability is a welcome improvement that will help speed up the licensing process,” Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick said.  I commend Chancellor Rosa, Commissioner Elia and the Board of Regents for their commitment to improving procedures for our licensed professionals and easing their transition into the workforce efficiently.”

“Giving applicants for New York State professional licenses the opportunity to apply online will make this complicated process more convenient and efficient through the use of technology,” Senator Kenneth LaValle said.  “This initiative is a critically important step forward in modernizing New York State’s professional licensure application process, as it will assist the New York State Education Department’s Office of Professions in streamlining an outdated practice of paper-only applications.”

“Providing applicants with an online application is the first step in modernizing our professional licensing system,” said Deputy Commissioner Douglas E. Lentivech.  “The Office of Professions and NYSED’s Information Technology Department are working together closely to roll out online licensure applications for all professions in the coming months.” 

The online application forms improve the accuracy of the information collected and ensure that the application is complete before submission.  The online application forms can also be saved for up to 30 days in most instances, allowing an applicant to return to complete the application or submit supporting documentation electronically.  On average, online application forms will save applicants up to two weeks of mail and processing time when compared to paper applications.  Applicants for Registered Professional Nursing, Licensed Practical Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Occupational Therapy Assistant licenses can use links found on the Office of Professions’ (OP) licensing pages to access online Form 1 applications. 

OP receives nearly 60,000 applications for licensure every year.  In 2015, licenses were issued for more than:

  • 15,000 Registered Professional Nurses,
  • 3,500 Licensed Practical Nurses
  • 1,000 Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants.

OP issues licenses in over 50 professions, and oversees the practice of nearly 900,000 licensed and currently registered professionals.  This enhanced service will help to simplify the licensure process, with more improvements to come as development of a more robust electronic licensing system continues. 

As part of the 2017-18 budget approval process, the NYS Board of Regents will seek authorization for OP to utilize $4.3 million of existing revenue from fees already collected to more fully begin the complex work of building a new electronic licensing and document management system.  These efforts will replace an outdated legacy system and enhance the customer experience for future and current professional licensees and professional entities.  When fully developed, this electronic system will be designed to include the following capabilities: 

  • provide online accounts so an applicant can see where they are in the licensure process and what information required for licensure has been received by OP;
  • allow institutions of higher education the option to electronically submit transcripts;
  • allow supervisors overseeing experience requirements to submit their forms electronically;
  • handle back-office application processing to improve customer service; and
  • provide for electronic case management of disciplinary cases.

Read more about, or apply for licensure, in Nursing here and Occupational Therapy here.