The existence of CNA classes in Tennessee is based mostly on the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987), which explicitly requires States to not only initiate, but also maintain Nurse aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs as well as Nurse aide Registries. The motivation behind this move is to be able improve the quality of care for long-term healthcare facilities including defining the training and evaluation standards that will be used for nurse aides working in these types of facilities.
This Act also appoints the Tennessee Department of Health to review, approve, deny, or suspend any training programs based on the guidelines in the Federal Code of Regulations. The Department also remains as the sole authority to certify and list all successful candidates that have completed any State approved training courses, including competency evaluation. This forms the basis for the maintenance of a registry of qualified individuals known as the State Nurse Aide Registry. Here are some important things that affect CNA classes in Tennessee.
• Available nurse aide training programs.
It is important for potential nurse aide candidates to choose training and evaluation programs that are approved and certified by the State. Normally training programs are approved within two years. During those two years, the programs are required to indicate in writing any substantial changes to the Nurse Aide Program Manager in 10 days after the change has been affected.
Any substantial changes means alteration of the:
• Name, address, or contact number of the institution handling the program as well as the clinical site
• Program coordinator
• Objectives of the course
• Course content description like the number of hours for the classroom and clinical environments
In the State of Tennessee, training programs are required to have at least 75 hours and should be coordinated by Registered Nurses with a minimum of two years of experience. At least one year should be in a long-term healthcare facility. Candidates should also have at least 16 hours of training in:
• Residents Rights
• Infection Control
• Communication and Interpersonal Skills
• Safety and Emergency Procedures
• Residents Independence
It is important that all basic theoretical components should be incorporated into the training programs according to State and federal regulations. The 25 competency skills should also be emphasized in the clinical practice of the candidates where five of the skills will be used as basis for evaluation. Candidates should be able to successfully pass all five skills during the competency evaluation.
• Requirements for certification of nurse aides.
To get a certification and be entered into the Nurse Aide Registry, candidates should take CNA classes in Tennessee from approved educational institutions. This should be followed by taking and passing the competency examination within 24 months after the training course has been completed. Those enrolled in RN or LPN programs can request to challenge results by submitting the original transcripts of their education.
This is to verify that they have completed the basic fundamentals of nursing with the necessary skills covered by the training program. The State of Tennessee accepts reciprocity from almost all other States except Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. Those trained in Georgia should submit a verification of status and apply for a challenge to the test. While those who underwent training in North Carolina and Florida should retrain and retest before they can become CNA.
Military trained candidates who served as medic can challenge the test if they can submit a copy of DD-124. The certification to be issued to a CNA has a validity period of 24 months, after which a recertification is required every two years after that. The CNA should show proof of working at least one 8-hour shift within the 24-month certification period. Expiration of more than two years or failure to work within the 24-month period requires retraining and retesting.
• Changes in name and address.
Part of the requirement of federal and State regulations is for candidates who successfully take CNA classes in Tennessee and pass the competency examination should keep their name and address in the Nurse Aide Registry current. Changes in name and address should be requested in writing and reported by providing a photocopy of the legal document authorizing the change in the name like in the case of a marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or a court order among others.
Other documentary requirements would include the Social Security Number of the nurse aide as well as the current name that they are using. Changes in address can be reported with the submission of the name of the nurse aide, Social Security Number, the old address, and the new address to be used.
• Instructions for recertification.
As earlier stated, successful candidates of CNA classes in Tennessee who pass the competency examination will become registered CNA. They are also required to undergo a period of recertification every two years. The recertification should be done based on the prevailing guidelines of the State of Tennessee, which means that duty services in private physician’s offices, companion services, and other facilities not recognized by the State does not qualify the CNA for recertification.
Renewals cannot be undertaken before a month to the expiration date of the certification. The proof of employment should be submitted in acceptable forms like payroll printout, pay stub, or notarized attestation form. The submitted payroll printout or pay stub should also specify the Social Security Number of the CNA as well as the place of employment. Notarized attestation forms should be completed and notarized by the healthcare facility where the CNA is serving.
The notarized attestation form should also include the information:
• Name of the CNA
• Social Security Number
• Date the 8-hour shift was tendered
• Name and title of the person verifying the submitted information
• Instructions for reciprocity in the State.
The initial step for reciprocity is to have the certification for the CNA issued by another State transferred to the State of Tennessee. It is important that the certification is active at the time the request for transfer is filed and no derogatory information should be listed in the record. It is the responsibility of the CNA to complete all the needed information and forward it to the State where the CNA is registered. The State of Tennessee does not entail any processing fee to complete the process.
These are five important things that can affect how CNA classes in Tennessee are handled as well as the manner of issuance of certification.