TRANSITIONING PANDEMIC (TEMPORARY) STAFF

UPDATED 9/29/2022


PANDEMIC (TEMPORARY) NURSE AIDE TRANSITION PROCESS AND TIMELINE

On April 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided notice that the nurse aide training waiver, which temporarily allowed Pandemic (temporary) Nurse Aides (PNAs) to be hired to work in nursing facilities, ended June 7.

PNAs can no longer be hired by a nursing facility or register for and complete AHCA’s 8-hour online PNA course.

The only PNAs that are eligible to continue working as PNAs and complete the steps necessary to get on the Nurse Aide Registry are those who:

  1. Were hired prior to June 7;
  2. Completed the 8-Hour Online Course;
  3. Registered and paid for NHCA’s PNA Transition Program by June 7; and
  4. Received an email with registration confirmation from NHCA.

These previously-hired PNAs have an additional four months* to work in nursing facilities as PNAs while they:

  1. Complete NHCA’s state-approved PNA Transition Course, including all the 68 hours of on-the-job training and competency demonstrations;
  2. Submit the PNA Transition Course packet to NHCA for completeness and accuracy review;
  3. Register for and successfully pass the state written and clinical exams; and
  4. Are successfully placed on the state nurse aide registry.

*An “additional four months” would be October 7, however it is STRONGLY recommended that the following steps be completed by September 7 to allow time for successful testing and for the Department of Health and Human Services to process the information and place the PNA on the Nurse Aide Registry.

Steps for Previously-Hired PNA to be Placed by on the Nurse Aide Registry

  1. Submit PNA Transition packet to NHCA – These four (4) DHHS approved transition packet forms should be submitted to NHCA as soon as possible to allow for test completion prior to September 7, 2022.
    • Click HERE to see an example of each document that must be completed, signed, dated and submitted.
      • AHCA Temporary NA Course Certificate – including the pre-populated date of completion and student’s name. This course is no longer available – it had to be completed by June 6.
      • NA Skills Sheet– to be completed and signed by facility nurse.
      • NA 2-Page Competency Checklist– to be completed and signed by facility nurse.
      • NA Attestation – to be completed and signed by facility Registered Nurse or Administrator (on behalf of RN).
    • Submit HERE.
  1. Upon receipt of NHCA’s approval that PNA’s packet submission is complete and accurate, register for state written and clinical test– in order for PNA to continue working in facility after expiration of NA waiver, PNA must successfully pass BOTH written and clinical tests prior to September 7, 2022.
    • The PNA should ONLY register to take the state written and clinical test if NHCA has approved the PNA’s packet submission as being complete and accurate.
    • The PNA can register for the state written and clinical test HERE.
    • DHHS processing of Registry Placement can take 1-4 weeks.

 ADDITIONALLY:

  • If your temporary nurse aide did not register for the Transition Course and/or complete the 8-hour online PNA training prior to June 7, the nurse aide will need to take a traditional nurse aide 76-hour course to be eligible to state test.
  • NHCA continues to offer in-person or hybrid training for nurse aides.
  • Contact NHCA at 402-435-3551 or nhca@nehca.orgif you would like to host a nurse aide training or nurse aide state testing in your facility.

PNA Transition Program Does NOT Apply to Inactive or Lapsed NAs

  • Prior NAs who were inactive or lapsed from the NA Registry before the start of the pandemic and who worked as PNAs during the pandemic are NOT eligible for the PNA Transition program.
  • Inactive or Lapsed NAs will need to follow the usual process to reactivate on the NA Registry by successfully retaking the written/oral and clinical exams.

PNAT submissions will be accepted until 5:00 pm CT Thursday, October 6, 2022.

Governor Ricketts Extends Waiver of Medication Aide Training Requirements

On Sep. 19 Governor Pete Ricketts issued Executive Order 22-05 in support of additional healthcare workforce capacity. This order extends the deadlines for the workforce provisions found in his earlier Executive Orders 21-12 and 21-15.

Temporary Medication Aides

As the temporary waiver of medication aide training requirements was extended, it means temporary medication aides can continue to be hired and work in facilities once they have:

  1. Applied and paid for and been placed on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services registry as a medication aide
  2. Completed initial training (NHCA’s 8-hour online temporary medication aide training is available here).
  3. Been trained by the facility and determined competent to provide care and services to residents.

Transition of Temporary Medication Aides to Medication Aides-40 Hour – complete this process as soon as possible.

In order to allow sufficient time for NHCA and DHHS to process the Pandemic (temporary) Medication Aide Transition (PMAT) program documentation, and temporary medication aides to register and complete state testing prior to the expiration date, the complete PMAT packet must be received by NHCA by 5:00pm CT on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Access to PMAT registration and submission will no longer be available after this date.

The temporary medication aide should complete the PMAT program as soon as possible in the following order:

  1. Register and pay for enrollment of EACH temporary medication aide in NHCA’s Pandemic Medication Aide Transition program here. Email with DHHS-approved documents may go to your spam folder.
  2. Complete the required steps and submit the required signed documentation to NHCA for approval before registering for the state test.
  3. Register and pay for the medication aide state test here.
  4. Submit a revised Medication Aide 40-Hour application form to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (no additional fee) and be placed on Nebraska’s Medication Aide 40-Hour Registry. See guidance on this here.

NOTE: Please do not wait until the last minute to transition your temporary medication aides as this will likely result in considerable delays and the inability of the temporary medication aides to work in your facility until all of the state-required steps are completed.

NOTE: To be eligible for the Pandemic Medication Aide Transition program, individuals must have worked as a temporary medication aide in a licensed Nebraska facility between March 2020 – December 1, 2022.

NOTE: Medication aides who did not work as a temporary medication aide, were on the registry as a 20-Hour medication aide prior to the pandemic, and/or have a lapsed license are not eligible for this program.

NOTE: The Pandemic Medication Aide Transition program is facility-specific, so if a temporary medication aide transfers to a new facility prior to program completion and NHCA’s approval of the document submission, the temporary medication aide will need to re-register for the Pandemic Medication Aide Transition program through the new facility.

For questions or if you would like to host a MA-40 hour training or state testing in your facility, please contact NHCA at 402-435-3551. Visit our training calendar here.