COVID19 and Nurse Aide Training Programs
Last update 08/10/2021
On March 31, 2020, CMS issued a Waiver which allows Nursing Homes to hire temporary nurse aides. This means any individual that meets requirements (i.e., background check, other state requirements) may be utilized as a temporary nurse aide while the CMS Waiver is in effect. Facilities are still required to "ensure that nurse aides are able to demonstrate competency in skills and techniques necessary to care for residents’ needs, as identified through resident assessments, and described in the plan of care."
Facilities may utilize any means necessary (i.e., teaching materials, orientation, etc.) to verify competency of the temporary nurse aides, as long as the facility can assure the individual is competent to provide skills required to care for residents.
NOTE: Temporary nurse aide courses are not regulated by this department, and alone are NOT sufficient for training of required skills. Also, participation in the course will NOT make the TNA eligible for certification. The NH MUST verify competency and instruction of all TNA's PRIOR to resident care.
On April 8, 2021, CMS issued QSO-21-17-NH, Update to the Long-Term Care Emergency Regulatory Waiver. This memo offered clarification regarding nurse aide training requirements and the use of temporary nurse aides. The guidance indicated that CMS was not ending the current nurse aide waiver. Furthermore, it noted that upon expiration of the Waiver, "the four-month regulatory timeframe will be reinstated." This means that temporary nurse aides will have the full four-month period, starting from the end of the blanket waiver, to successfully complete the required training and certification, regardless of the amount of time worked during the waiver.
In an effort to allow individuals working as temporary nurse aides the opportunity to obtain certification, the state of LA implemented the TNA to CNA Transition Process in December 2020. This process is only for Temporary Nurse Aides working in a nursing home. More information can be found here.
Resumption of training (during and/or post-COVID)
August 2021 MEMO regarding Covid during 4th surge
Based upon federal regulations and CMS guidance, the LDH will not waive training requirements for future classes, including lab/skills training or clinical instruction. Simulation in a lab will NOT be considered, regardless of the circumstances.
Although most nursing homes welcome nurse aide training students into their facility, a facility may determine that acting as a clinical site is not in the best interest of their residents. In an effort to ensure students are able to complete their training, programs must follow the requirements below PRIOR TO THE START OF EACH NEW CLASS:
- Obtain written verification from the nursing home that current students will be allowed to complete clinical training. The verification must be submitted to the program desk at HSS-CNA-DSW-Request@la.gov. There is not a template for this, but should indicate the following:
- The agreement is for the upcoming class;
- Dates of the class being referenced;
- Current students will be allowed to complete clinical training;
- Is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Signed by the facility administrator or an appropriate designee.
- Submit the verification to the program desk at HSS-CNA-DSW-Request@la.gov.
- If the facility(s) that you currently have contract(s) with are unable/unwilling to accommodate students, you must reach out to other NH’s, as there are many that welcome students for clinical instruction, based on their current and future staffing needs.
NOTE: If you add a clinical site, you must obtain a clinical contract. See the updated reporting and contract requirements here.
- The written verification (see number 1) is also required and must be submitted to the program desk as instructed above.
- Notify the LDH Program Desk of nursing facilities that are unable/unwilling to accommodate students via email to HSS-CNA-DSW-Request@la.gov. While it is certainly the right of the facility to restrict students, the LDH would like to ensure the reason is not due to misinformation regarding current recommendations related to the pandemic.
- If your program decides to place the program on hold or close, notify Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you program was on hold last year, and is resuming training, notify Program Manager at email@example.com.
NATP and Registry Quick Links
Prometric website for LA
New Nurse Aide Training Program approval information
NATP Change Information for currently approved programs (instructions for reporting program changes)
COVID19/Nurse Aide Training/TNA Waiver information
Train the Trainer contacts
LDH NATP/CNA FAQ page
LA Nurse Aide Registry online CNA verification
LA Adverse Actions website (DSW findings)
LA Nurse Aide Registry website (information for CNA's)
CNA recertification testing information
Federal regulations for Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs CFR, Chapter IV, Subchapter G, Part 483, Subpart D