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Nurse Aide Information

Nurse Aide Programs

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) required states to initiate and maintain Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs and Nurse Aide Registries. This was designed to improve the quality of care in long term health care facilities and to define training and evaluation standards for nurse aides who work in such facilities. Under the requirements of this Act, the Tennessee Department of Health is required to review, approve, deny, or suspend training programs as outlined in the Federal Code of Regulations (CFR Title 42, volume 3, part 483). The Department is also required to certify and list all individuals who complete a state approved training program and competency evaluation as well as list and maintain a registry of all individuals who are found to have abused or neglected elderly or vulnerable persons, or misappropriated their property. These listings may be found on the State Nurse Aide Registry, or the Elderly or Vulnerable Abuse Registry.

Nurse Aide Training Programs

Click here for a list of all State of Tennessee approved training programs.

This information will assist potential nurse aide students in locating and selecting a training and/or competency evaluation program. Nurse Aide Training Programs are approved for a 2-year period. During that 2-year approval time, programs are required to report any substantial changes to the Nurse Aide Program Manager in writing within 10 days of the change. Substantial change means any change in the:

  • Name, address, and telephone number of the facility, institution or agency offering the program, including the clinical site.
  • The program coordinator
  • Statement of course objectives; or
  • Description of course content specifying the number of hours in classroom and clinical settings.

The State of Tennessee requires that a nurse aide training program be at least 75 hours in duration and be coordinated by a Registered Nurse with at least 2 years experience, one of which must be in long term care. Students must complete 16 hours in the following areas prior to any direct contact with the residents:

  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Residents Rights
  • Residents Independence
  • Safety and Emergency Procedures including the Heimlich Maneuver, and
  • Infection Control

The training program must include all other basic theoretical components defined by state and federal regulations, as well as a clinical component where the students are trained on the 25 competency skills of which they will be evaluated on five. For successful passage of the competency evaluation, the student must pass all five skills. For additional information regarding the Competency Evaluation contact:

D & S Diversified Technologies LLP
333 Oakland Avenue
Findlay, OH 45840
Toll Free (877) 201-0758 - Fax (412) 422-8328

Verify the Status of Nurse Aides

Certification status may be verified through the Automated Phone Response System or the Department of Health’s Web Site. The automated phone number,
1-800-778-4504 is toll free and provides nurse aide directory information 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The nurse aide directory information is also available by clicking here.

Requirements for Certification

In order to be certified on the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry, an individual must have completed an approved nurse aide training program, and sit for the state competency examination within 24 months from completion of the class.

A student enrolled in a LPN or RN program may request to challenge the test by providing original transcripts of their education verifying they have completed the basic nursing fundamentals and skills that are covered in a nurse aide training program.

An individual who is currently listed as active with no derogatory or abuse information on another State’s list of certified individuals can apply for reciprocity. Tennessee accepts reciprocity from all States except Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. An individual living in Georgia must provide verification of their status and apply to challenge the test. An individual living in Florida or North Carolina must retrain and retest in Tennessee in order to become certified as a CNA in this State.

An individual who is military trained as a medic, may apply to challenge the test by providing a copy of the DD-214.

The Certification period is for 24 months, and the individual must recertify every 2 years by providing verification that they have worked at least one 8- hour shift during that 24-month time frame. If the certification expires and remains expired for a period longer than 2 years, or the individual has not worked in a 24-month time frame, the individual must retrain and retest in order to be listed in an active status on the Registry.

Name and Address Changes

Federal and State Regulations require nurse aides to keep their name and address current on the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry. Name and address changes must be requested in writing. To report a name change, the individual must provide a photocopy of the legal document that changed their name (marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or other court order, etc.) along with their social security number and their current name. To report an address change, the individual must include their name, social security number, old address, and the new address.

Instructions for Renewals

Certified Nurse Aides are required to re-certify every two years and must provide verification of having worked at least one 8 hour shift during the past 24 months in a  facility licensed or certified by the Division of Health Care Facilities.  (NOTE:  Private duty services, sitter, companion services, private physician’s offices are not accepted for renewal.)  Renewals cannot occur prior to one month before an aide's certification expiration date.  This proof of employment must be in the form of either a:  pay stub; payroll printout; or, notarized attestation form.  The pay stub or payroll printout must contain the individual’s social security number and the place of employment.  The notarized attestation form must be completed and notarized by the facility where the individual worked and must include the following:  individual’s name; social security number; the date the individual worked 8 hours; and, the name and title of the individual verifying this information.   (Click here to download the Employment Verification form.)

Instructions for Reciprocity to Tennessee

Individuals who are certified in other states may request to have their certification transferred to Tennessee. The individual must have an active certification in the state they wish to transfer from with no abuse or other derogatory information listed. The Verification of Out-Of-State Nurse Aide Registration Application must be completed fully. All information requested in (Part I) must be completed by the nurse aide. The form is then forwarded to the state where the individual is registered for completion of (Part II). The application will not be processed if it is incomplete, illegible or includes false representations. A copy of the individual's social security card and identification, i.e., driver’s license, passport, or other photo ID, etc. must be submitted with the application. (Click here to download the Out-of-State Nurse Aide Registration form).

NOTE: Tennessee does not require a processing fee, however, the registry in the state where you are currently listed may require a processing fee.

Contact Information

Call (615) 532-5171 or Fax (615) 248-3601
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. C.S.T.
Or the Automated Phone Response System
1-800-778-4504 Nationwide Toll Free
Available 24 hours a day, seven days per week