Nurse Aide Registries
By the enforcement of Omnibus Budget Reconciliation ACT of 1987 (OBRA), all states need to have nurse aide registry. A nurse aide registry maintains the record of nursing assistants certified by the state Department of Public Health. A registry, not only keeps track of nursing assistants but also maintains registration records of registered nurses and practical nurses as well. According to regulations implemented under OBRA-87, all Skilled Nursing Facilities and Nursing Facilities in a state must employ only licensed individuals at nursing aide designation. Therefore, any long-term nursing facility must check the certification status of an individual before recruiting him/her in any health related position. The candidates are legally authorized to work as a CNA after being listed in the state registry.
Functions of Nurse Aide Registries
Nurse aide registries are responsible for approving nursing assistant training programs of the state. They maintain records of individuals, who get certified by qualifying Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEP) or Competency Evaluation Programs (CEP). The registries regulate nursing licenses as well as their renewal or recertification. Every state nursing registry prepares and updates database of certified nursing assistants, maintaining records of their identification, contact details and work history. They are also held responsible for tracing cases of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of patient’s property, thereby suspending or discontinuing licenses of defaulters. Every health care facility in a state is abided by law to cooperate with respective nursing registry to comply with health care standards and ensure rendering safe and quality health care services. Nurse aide registries also regulate endorsement of nurses migrating into the state from other states.
How to List Yourself in Nurse Aide Registry
Getting listed into the state nurse aide registry is the mark of becoming Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). An individual must have completed a state approved CNA training program and passed CNA certification exam to get licensed. CNA training programs are generally run by hospitals, long-term nursing homes, American Red Cross, community colleges, private schools, and other accredited health care facilities. A training program can have duration of one and a half months to a year. An individual must verify recognition of a nurse aide program with state nursing registry before getting enrolled into any of them. The training program must be currently approved by the nursing registry. A CNA program must include sufficient classroom instructions and clinical practice under the supervision of a registered nurse. By the conclusion of a training program, candidates need to pass CNA certification exam. The exam is known as ‘National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP).
NNAAP is conducted by National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and is one of the licensing requirements in 24 jurisdictions/states. The exam is broken-down into two components: Written and Practical. The written examination is a two-hour test consisting of 70 multiple-choice questions pertaining to the knowledge of nursing assistant profession, physical care of patients, and psychological and emotional care. Out of 70 questions, 60 questions are scored whereas 10 questions are non-scored pretest items. The written examination can be also taken in oral form under special testing accommodations. A candidate passes the exam, if he/she attempts at least 75 percent questions correctly. Practical examination involves clinical demonstration of any five nursing skills, out of 25 nursing skills indexed by the state nursing registries. These examinations must be qualified within two years period from completion of a training program. Since, these registries were created under a federal law; all states imply similar licensing requirements and training standards. Though, the regulation and endorsement of licenses falls under jurisdiction of Department of Public Health in each state. CNA licenses remain valid for two-year period and need to be renewed by continuing education in two-year cycles.
How Employers are Benefited by Nursing Registries?
Health care facilities are significantly benefited due to existence of nursing registries. First of all, they are enforced to maintain health care standards and provide quality services to their clients. Licensing and certification have eased the process of recruiting health care professionals. Employers can confirm current certification/license status of a job applicant and ascertain background checks with state nurse aide registry. The regulations implemented by registries have ensured that individuals employed as nursing assistants are of good moral character and have gone through rigorous training and testing. Stringent certification processes and laws have ultimately improved health care industry by deploying skilled work-force in the state.
Nurse Aide Registry by States
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia