Advocates for Georgia's Elderly Since 1953

COVID-19 Temporary Nurse Aide Training Program

Workforce challenges continue to be an ongoing issue for providers during the COVID-19 crisis. Under the authority of the March 20, 2020 Executive Order issued by Governor Kemp, and the Section 1135 blanket waiver issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 30, 2020, HFRD has authorized a temporary nurse aide training program, as follows:

  • Nursing homes are not required to have a current CNA Training Program in order to participate in the temporary program.
  • The temporary nurse aide training program may be administered by the nursing home utilizing the 8-hour online training course and associated skills competency checklist developed by the American Health Care Association in association with Academic Platforms, LLC (branded as CNAOnline.com).
  • All nursing homes that intend to utilize the temporary nurse aide training program must complete the Temporary Nurse Aide Facility Application and send it to Alliant Health Solutions.
  • Nursing homes also must maintain documentation at the facility of all nurse aides that complete the temporary training program including, at a minimum: evidence of successful completion of the online exam following the 8-hour training; and documentation of at least 2 hours of supervised training and completion of a skills checklist by a member of the nursing staff at the facility.
  • Nursing homes may employ current nursing students who are enrolled in an LPN or RN program in Georgia as temporary nurse aides. If a nursing student has completed Nursing 101 and Nursing 102, there is no requirement to complete the 8-hour training or take the online exam. These students can be onboarded at the facility with 2 hours of supervised training and completion of a skills checklist. Nursing students hired as temporary nurse aides do not have a larger scope of duties than other temporary nurse aides. Temporary nurse aides may only perform tasks that are consistent with typical CNA job responsibilities.
  • Once the state of emergency has been lifted, the Department will allow a period of time for temporary nurse aides to complete any additional training necessary for them to pass the required Georgia Certified Nurse Aide Competency Test administered by Pearson VUE and to enroll in the Georgia Nurse Aide Registry.

Click here for the Department’s memo related to this authorization.

For a list of participating centers, click here. 

Additionally, Georgia’s Nursing Board has developed a process  to obtain a temporary permit for nurse graduates who have applied for license by exam to work as a Graduate Nurse in a role consistent with their scope of practice. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen relationships with local nursing programs and to fortify your workforce. Our hope is that centers would hire individuals through the various pathways created as a result of the public health emergency and demonstrate exceptional customer service and support as they assimilate with your teams. This will increase the likelihood these new associates will remain employed in your center long after the declared public health emergency has lifted. Embrace this opportunity and demonstrate why our health care teams are super heroes!

Please see below process for employing nursing students, allied health students and nurse graduates: 

  1. Nursing Students
    1. Pre-requisite: Fundamentals in Nursing
    2. Upon hire, student will be required to complete a competency skills check-off (linked above) and perform with 2 hours supervision
  2. Allied Health Student (or other students) and external applicants interested in Temporary Nurse Aide employment opportunity
    1. Upon hire, student will be required to complete the 8-Hour AHCA Temporary Nurse Aide online training program and exam
    2. Upon successful completion of exam, will be designated as a Temporary Nurse Aide with appropriate job responsibilities
    3. Once public health emergency has passed, DCH and other stakeholders will define process to allow TNA to complete other requirements for Certified Nurse Assistant testing and certification
  3. Nurse Graduates
    1. Graduate of accredited nursing program
    2. Apply for a temporary permit
    3. SNF, ALs and other providers may employ appropriately permitted Graduate Nurses to perform duties commensurate with their scope of practice.

If you have questions, please contact GHCA VP Quality Advancement & Regulatory Affairs Pam Clayton at pclayton@ghca.info or 678-902-9224

Click here for a template information document for center to use to recruit Temporary Nurse Aides or Graduate Nurses.

DCH Establishes Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program for Full Certification
DCH has established a bridge program whereby individuals currently working as Temporary Nurse Aides (TNAs) can become fully certified and continue working in the center beyond the public health emergency. Click here to review information regarding the bridge program and certification requirements. CMS previously waived some portions of 42 CFR 483.35(d), allowing nurse aides to work for more than four months at a nursing home without completion of the training and certification process. CMS has not released guidance on whether additional time will be granted once the public health emergency period is ended. TNAs interested in sitting for the competency test are encouraged to work on completing the required coursework and clinical rotations as soon as they are able to do so. Likewise, nursing centers should proceed to support completion of the certification requirements for any TNAs that they want to hire for permanent employment.
 
Discounts are available for TNAs to complete the CNAonline Training Program. Click here for additional information and pricing.

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