What is the Temporary Nurse Aide Training Program Waiver Approved by CMS?

CNA School owners all over are concerned about the Temporary Nurse Aide Training Program and how it will affect their schools? In this article I will explain what this program is, how it works and how it will affect CNA school owners.

CMS is waiving the Federal requirements 42 CFR 483.35 9(d) of the OBRA ACT. What does this mean? This means skilled nursing facility can now employ a non-certified nurse aide, who has been through training, for longer than 4 months (while they are awaiting CNA exam testing). However, CMS is not waiving 42 CFR § 483.35(c), which requires facilities 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. This means that facilities can also bring on newly hired individuals and training them in the basic skills required as a nurse aide so that they may begin working immediately.

This new regulation waiver allows nursing homes all over the nation to quickly fill the gap of much needed healthcare workers while CNA schools in many states are placed on hold. Many “Temporary Nurse Aide Training Program” are popping up in Nursing Homes at this time. These facilities are using skills-based check list and online training course/videos developed by the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA&NCAL) to help them prepare their new temporary nurse aide employees. This online course is 8 hours and currently free. View the course here .

These waivers went into effect as of March 1st 2020 and will last through the end of the nation wide emergency declaration.

CNA schools everywhere should not be frightened by this as this is only a temporary waiver since nursing homes are not allowing families or students to filter in and out of their facilities. This new model allows for a person, who is considered hired by the facility be trained in-house and learn the basic skills to care for residents. The Federal requirements, which require nurse aides to receive a minimum of 75 hours of training, with 16 hours of hands on experience, will be back in effect after the emergency declaration is over.

CNA schools can consider partnering with nursing homes in their area to see how they can support nursing homes during this transitional time. Schools should pay special attention to facilities that they have been using for their clinical rotation. Many nursing homes are having to create programs in house to implement this new rule. They may not have the resources of knowledge but guess what? You do! Nursing homes in Arkansas are already partnering with CNA schools in their area to have them help train these hired individuals in house.

Please note that this waiver does NOT state that it allows those trained to sit for the exam once the emergency declaration is lifted. These individuals will still need the state required training prior to sitting for the CNA exam. Because of this, many facilities may want to consider training their employees per state regulation if that option is available. You, as an approved program may be able to offer that.

Please reach out to facilities in your area, speak with the DON or Administrator and see how you can join forces, at the nursing home to meet both of your needs.

Victoria Randle MSN, NP-C

Victoria is the CEO of The Secret Cocktail®, a CNA school start up agency that helps to start CNA schools in all 50 states. For any questions, please send an email to info@thesecretcocktail.com.