How to Obtain a Clinical Contract for your CNA School.

How to obtain a nursing home contract for your CNA School.

One of the most time-consuming steps in starting your CNA school may very well be obtaining a clinical contract. Not all nurses have a relationship with a nursing home and feel very awkward reaching out to a nursing home and asking for such a favor. This process can take 3-6 months so it’s best to start early on. Let me equip you with the confidence to go after this like a boss! Read on or watch my video HERE.

How do I identify a Nursing Home to partner with?
First, you need to identify where you are going to place your school. It only makes sense to place your school in an area where students can potentially get a job considering people like to go to school and work near where they live.

Next, make a list of 5-10 nursing homes in the area and find out if they are on the Medicaid or Medicare fraud, abuse or neglect list, AKA as the “Ban List.” These nursing homes are either under investigation or have been found to be “poorly performing” facilities and therefore are not allowed to have students learn in their facility.

Does it have to be a nursing home?
Yes! It is a federal requirement that all nurse aide training programs send their students to a nursing home for practical learning. The OBRA Act of 1987 states that students must have at least 16 hours of hands-on learning, however, many states have increased this requirement to 24-40 hours. In the states that have increased the clinical hour requirements, some allow students to obtain those additional hours in different types of facilities like hospice, home health or assisted living to name a few. Please contact your state to learn the specifics surrounding those rules.

Who do I talk to at the nursing home?
Usually, it is the DON or the administrator who can make the decision to allow clinicals at their facility. After you identify the 5-10 nursing homes you want to partner with, you should call and ask for both the DON and administrators’ number and email address. You will want call and email them until you get a response, rotating both methods. Please know it can take weeks before they respond. Remember, they are at work and we know how busy caring for patients can be. They are not ignoring you. They are just busy so DO NOT give up! If need be, stop by if you are unable to get them via phone or email.

What do I say when I finally get a hold of someone?
When you finally get a hold of someone, this is the script you may want to use:

“Hi my name is Victoria Randle. I am starting a CNA school in the area and I would love an opportunity to speak with you more about our mission, goals, and possible partnership. After conducting research on your facility, I feel like our values align and that your location would be a great fit for our students. I also feel like our school can benefit you as well. Is there a time when I can meet with you to discuss further?”

Where do I even get a clinical contract from?
Many people are under the assumption that the nursing home will provide the clinical contract but this is not the case. In most cases, you will have to draft this clinical contract and provide it to the nursing home. Only a few state nurse aide program approving bodies actually provide you with the clinical contract. Check you states website to find out if they do. If you need help drafting a clinical contract, we can help you do so with our online course.

It is common that the nursing home may ask to change some of the verbiages of the contract, which is ok, as long as they do not try and alter any state regulations. These regulations are discussed in our online course.

Tips from the Pusher.

  1. Be sure to look up the nursing home’s mission and values before you call. During your research, you will find out if their facility is even a place you would want to align with via their mission, values, and online reviews. Through your research, you want to be able to speak their language when you talk with the point of contact. Let them know you have done your research about their company and that you are serious about this endeavor. It will make you more appealing and increase your chances of landing that contract.
  2. Have more than one nursing home contract. Many states require this but not all of them do. Why do you ask? If you partner with only one nursing home and they end up on the “Ban List” you have lost your clinical site and your program cannot operate. You do not want to be limited.
  3. When you set up a meeting with the nursing home administrator or DON, bring donuts, coffee, fruit tray, or SOMETHING for them and the staff. A way to anyone’s heart is usually through food.
  4. I know it feels weird calling a nursing home and asking them to partner with you when you are not even in business yet or even have a location that has been approved. They are aware of the process and know that you must have a clinical contract before your CNA School is approved. No need to feel awkward. Just sell your vision and be authentic.
  5. Almost every state requires that your clinical contract be at least 2 years in length. Some states request additional requirements so be sure to look into this before acquiring the contract. There are a lot of small items you may not know to consider when starting a CNA school which is why we provide consulting to people like you. If you are interested in consulting us to help you with starting your CNA school, feel free looking at our website see the different services we provide.

Victoria Randle NP-C