456.024 Members of Armed Forces in good standing with administrative boards or the department; spouses; licensure.—
(1) Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States now or hereafter on active duty who, at the time of becoming such a member, was in good standing with any administrative board of the state, or the department when there is no board, and was entitled to practice or engage in his or her profession or vocation in the state shall be kept in good standing by such administrative board, or the department when there is no board, without registering, paying dues or fees, or performing any other act on his or her part to be performed, as long as he or she is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty and for a period of 6 months after discharge from active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, provided he or she is not engaged in his or her licensed profession or vocation in the private sector for profit.
(2) The boards listed in s. 20.43, or the department when there is no board, shall adopt rules exempting the spouses of members of the Armed Forces of the United States from licensure renewal provisions, but only in cases of absence from the state because of their spouses’ duties with the Armed Forces.
(3) A person who serves or has served as a health care practitioner in the United States Armed Forces, United States Reserve Forces, or the National Guard or a person who serves or has served on active duty with the United States Armed Forces as a health care practitioner in the United States Public Health Service is eligible for licensure in this state. The department shall develop an application form, and each board, or the department if there is no board, shall waive the application fee, licensure fee, and unlicensed activity fee for such applicants. For purposes of this subsection, “health care practitioner” means a health care practitioner as defined in s. 456.001 and a person licensed under part III of chapter 401 or part IV of chapter 468.
(a) The board, or department if there is no board, shall issue a license to practice in this state to a person who:
1. Submits a complete application.
2. Receives an honorable discharge within 6 months before, or will receive an honorable discharge within 6 months after, the date of submission of the application.
3. Holds an active, unencumbered license issued by another state, the District of Columbia, or a possession or territory of the United States and who has not had disciplinary action taken against him or her in the 5 years preceding the date of submission of the application.
4. Attests that he or she is not, at the time of submission, the subject of a disciplinary proceeding in a jurisdiction in which he or she holds a license or by the United States Department of Defense for reasons related to the practice of the profession for which he or she is applying.
5. Actively practiced the profession for which he or she is applying for the 3 years preceding the date of submission of the application.
6. Submits a set of fingerprints for a background screening pursuant to s. 456.0135, if required for the profession for which he or she is applying.
The department shall verify information submitted by the applicant under this subsection using the National Practitioner Data Bank.
(b) Each applicant who meets the requirements of this subsection shall be licensed with all rights and responsibilities as defined by law. The applicable board, or department if there is no board, may deny an application if the applicant has been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, any felony or misdemeanor related to the practice of a health care profession regulated by this state.
(c) An applicant for initial licensure under this subsection must submit the information required by ss. 456.039(1) and 456.0391(1) no later than 1 year after the license is issued.
(4)(a) The board, or the department if there is no board, may issue a temporary professional license to the spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who submits to the department:
1. A completed application upon a form prepared and furnished by the department in accordance with the board’s rules;
2. The required application fee;
3. Proof that the applicant is married to a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is on active duty;
4. Proof that the applicant holds a valid license for the profession issued by another state, the District of Columbia, or a possession or territory of the United States, and is not the subject of any disciplinary proceeding in any jurisdiction in which the applicant holds a license to practice a profession regulated by this chapter;
5. Proof that the applicant’s spouse is assigned to a duty station in this state pursuant to the member’s official active duty military orders; and
6. Proof that the applicant would otherwise be entitled to full licensure under the appropriate practice act, and is eligible to take the respective licensure examination as required in Florida.
(b) The applicant must also submit to the Department of Law Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints. The Department of Law Enforcement shall conduct a statewide criminal history check and forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check.
(c) Each board, or the department if there is no board, shall review the results of the state and federal criminal history checks according to the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04 when granting an exemption and when granting or denying the temporary license.
(d) The applicant shall pay the cost of fingerprint processing. If the fingerprints are submitted through an authorized agency or vendor, the agency or vendor shall collect the required processing fees and remit the fees to the Department of Law Enforcement.
(e) The department shall set an application fee, which may not exceed the cost of issuing the license.
(f) A temporary license expires 12 months after the date of issuance and is not renewable.
(g) An applicant for a temporary license under this subsection is subject to the requirements under s. 456.013(3)(a) and (c).
(h) An applicant shall be deemed ineligible for a temporary license pursuant to this section if the applicant:
1. Has been convicted of or pled nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, any felony or misdemeanor related to the practice of a health care profession;
2. Has had a health care provider license revoked or suspended from another of the United States, the District of Columbia, or a United States territory;
3. Has been reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, unless the applicant has successfully appealed to have his or her name removed from the data bank; or
4. Has previously failed the Florida examination required to receive a license to practice the profession for which the applicant is seeking a license.
(i) The board, or department if there is no board, may revoke a temporary license upon finding that the individual violated the profession’s governing practice act.
(j) An applicant who is issued a temporary professional license to practice as a dentist pursuant to this section must practice under the indirect supervision, as defined in s. 466.003, of a dentist licensed pursuant to chapter 466.
History.—s. 35, ch. 97-261; s. 19, ch. 99-7; s. 73, ch. 99-397; s. 54, ch. 2000-160; s. 1, ch. 2011-95; s. 28, ch. 2014-1.