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Nurse In Limbo As She Waits Weeks For License From State

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CBS Chicago (con't)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The only thing standing between a Wisconsin woman and a new nursing job is the State of Illinois.

Deborah Lehr can’t go to work because the state hasn’t approved her nursing license.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, this is the week Lehr was supposed to start her dream job as a surgical nurse at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion.

However, a backlog in processing paperwork in Springfield has kept Lehr on the outside looking in.

And there is really nothing Lehr can do.

The state “told me basically, I had to wait my turn and that was it,” she said.

Waiting is all she’s done.

Lehr’s already a registered nurse in Wisconsin, where she lives, just across the state line.

She applied at the end of July for an Illinois license.

“I was told it would take about four to six weeks to do this,” Lehr said.

When she get an offer letter from Cancer Centers of America, Lehr gave five weeks’ notice and quit her Wisconsin nursing job.

If she had known it would take this long, she would have held off on resigning from her old job.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation blamed high staff turnover and a wave of retirements.

He said permanent nursing licenses were taking three to five weeks to process.

But not for Lehr.

It doesn’t work this way in Wisconsin, Lehr said.

“I had my license in Wisconsin after I passed my board in 48 hours,” she said.

Worst of all, Lehr has no idea how soon the state can catch up.

She says the state had plenty of workers to cash the check for her license application.

It cleared the bank in two days.

Now, she just wants what she paid for.

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