DETROIT -

Longtime nurse Pam Lukas says she moved back to Michigan from Oregon to be closer to her family. After being out of state she needed to renew her nursing license in Michigan.

"Well, before I left Oregon, I called of course ... they told me what to do. I sent the money in before I even left the state," Lukas told Ruth to the Rescue.

Lukas says that process at the end of March and by mid-April she had forwarded all additional information requested by the state. She waited and then waited some more for her license to be renewed.

"They would say check by next week, check by next week, it could be any day," Lukas says. Lucas says the update wasn't appearing on the state website, which meant prospective employers could not hire her. It was the uncertainty that was driving Lukas crazy.

She couldn't get a job and she was starting to panic about losing her home. "I'm borrowing money. I'm begging people to help me pay bills. My family is paying bills, praying about it, it's just continuous," Lukas says.

Ruth to the Rescue Gets Involved

Our Ruth to the Rescue unit contacted the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on May 23. Within hours Lukas received the news she'd been waiting for weeks to hear.

"Two hours later my license was, said it would be activated the next day, which it was," Lukas says.

A spokeswoman says the department did not have all the information it needed from Lukas until April 30. Then it took 17 business days to issue the license. She says that time span is standard for approval. She also says the bureau received about 6,600 applications in April, which all must be vetted.

(See more from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs below)

Does Lukas believe Ruth to the Rescue came to her rescue?

"I believe so. That and prayer," Lukas says. Lukas is now focusing on landing a new job and starting her new life in Michigan.

Notes from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

To help everyone better understand what happens inside the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, a spokeswoman also forwarded these

fast facts.

  • The Department says there is no systemic problem with license approval. It says it's taken steps to speed up the process.
  • Currently, nursing applications are being processed within 1-2 weeks if all documentation is properly submitted by the applicant. 
  • Licenses are issued as soon as possible once all documents have been reviewed and approved.  The time to process varies depending upon when the Department received necessary documentation and whether the documentation is deemed acceptable evidence of meeting license requirements.