TEXAS LTC PROVIDERS: Certification Process for Nurse Aides Training and Working Under a Waiver

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission issued PL 2021-19 on May 19, 2021.  This is definitely a must-read for TX LTC providers as it addresses “the process a person who has completed nurse aide tasks under the waiver during the COVID-19 public health emergency can follow to complete a Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP) and be added to the nurse aide registry.”  This is a 6-page document and includes a copy of the LTCR Form 3767, Nurse Aide Work Training and Work Experience.

“Under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) waiver and the suspension of nurse aide rules, nursing facilities have employed and trained numerous staff who are not certified nurse aides to complete nurse aide tasks. Once this waiver is no longer available, either through termination of the emergency declaration or through other means, the staff completing these tasks will no longer be able to do so, unless the staff become certified nurse aides (CNA).

In order to ensure continued staffing at nursing facilities, HHSC has developed a plan to allow staff who, during the declared public health emergency, completed work training and gained experience in all subject areas required for a NATCEP to count this training and experience towards nurse aide certification. Each nurse aide candidate is still required to successfully complete both the written/oral and skills examinations prior to being certified and placed on the nurse aide registry.

Work training and experience at any licensed nursing facility in Texas can qualify under the emergency rules as long as it was acquired during the COVID-19 public health emergency and under the supervision of a registered nurse who meets all the qualifications described below.

Further, facilities without a NATCEP that seek to have an employed individual certified as a nurse aide still must work with an approved NATCEP to approve the individual for the certification examinations. A NATCEP that agrees to prepare an individual for the certification examinations under the emergency rules must accept the documentation of the employed individual’s work training and experience in lieu of the equivalent requirements of formal program training. The NATCEP must also follow all existing processes related to criminal background checks and approval for the certification examinations.

A nurse aide must be certified within four months following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency determination issued by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.”

The contents of this Provider Letter include: