TRANSITIONING PANDEMIC (TEMPORARY) STAFF

UPDATED 6/9/22 (new information is highlighted below)


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.

PANDEMIC (TEMPORARY) MEDICATION AIDE TRANSITION PROCESS AND TIMELINE

On March 16, Governor Ricketts issued Executive Order 21-18, which temporarily waives certain training requirements for Medication Aides, allowing Pandemic (temporary) Medication Aides (PMAs) to be hired to work in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities through September 30, 2022.

To be a temporary medication aide, the facility will need to competency test the individual on the competencies and routes indicated on Section 5 of the Department of Health and Human Services Application for Medication Aide Registration.  This application must be submitted to DHHS with a nurses’ signature under Section 5. The individual may pass medications for 30 days while waiting to be placed on the registry as a temporary medication aide. The facility will need to keep a copy of the competency test in the employee record.

PANDEMIC (TEMPORARY) MEDICATION AIDE TRANSITION PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY:

Individuals must have worked as a temporary medication aide in Nebraska between March 2020 – September 30, 2022, to be eligible for this program. 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.

PLEASE NOTE:  Although the PMA waiver has been extended, in order to ensure these individuals are able to continue to work in your facility (as MA-40 Hour) after the Executive Order expires, your PMAs will need to complete all of the following steps by the identified deadlines (or your facility will need to complete on behalf of EACH individual PMA).

  1. PMA Registers for Transition Course with NHCA
    • Each PMA must register and pay for NHCA’s (DHHS-approved)
    • PMA Transition Course HERE. If you do not receive an email confirmation with links to the following documents, please check your ‘junk’ or ‘spam’ email folder.
  2. PMA Submits Packet to NHCA
    • Click HERE to see a copy of each document that must be completed, signed, dated and submitted.
    • Each PMA must electronically submit the following four (4) documents to NHCA by clicking HERE.
    • PACKET MUST INCLUDE:

Temporary Medication Aide Course Certificate– MUST include pre-populated date of completion. NHCA’s 8-hour online Temporary MA course is available HERE.

Medication Aide Skills Sheet– MUST be completed and signed by facility nurse.

Medication Aide Competency Sheet– MUST be completed and signed by facility nurse.

Medication Aide Attestation – MUST be completed and signed by facility Registered Nurse or Administrator (on behalf of RN).

UPON Receipt of NHCA’s Approval that PMA’s Packet Submission is complete and accurate:

PMA Registers for State Written Test– in order for PMA to continue working in facility after expiration of MA waiver, PMA MUST successfully pass test at least four (4) weeks prior to waiver expiration date.

    • The PMA should ONLY register to take the State Written Test IF NCHA has approved the PMA’s packet submission as being complete and accurate.
    • The PMA can register for the State Written Test HERE.

AND

  1. PMA Submits MA-40 Hour Application to DHHS – in order for PMA to continue working in facility after expiration of MA waiver, PMA MUST submit application to DHHS at least four (4) weeks prior to waiver expiration date.
    • See tips for completing application HERE.
    • DHHS processing of MA-40 Hour applications can take 1-4 weeks, so submission of application as soon as packet is approved by NHCA is important.

ADDITIONALLY:

    • NHCA continues to offer in-person training for MA-40 Hour.
    • Contact NHCA at 402-435-3551 or nhca@nehca.org if you would like to host a MA-40 Hour training or MA-40 Hour state testing in your facility.