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COVID-19 INFORMATION
Information from TN Dept of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program

Pursuant to emergency rules adopted on June 2, 2021 by the Tennessee Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities (BLHCF) (effective on August 16, 2021), the Tennessee Department of Health Nurse Aide Program (TDH NAT) is authorized to deem an individual serving as a temporary nurse aide (TNA)  as satisfying the requirement of completing a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program if the individual meets certain eligibility requirements.

To transition to permanent status as a CNA and be placed on the Nurse Aide Registry, a TNA must have completed the following:

  1. Have worked at least two hundred (200) hours in a nursing home during the public health emergency (PHE);
  2. Passed a written or oral test, which can be the initial online test the TNA took to become a TNA (i.e., part of the 8-hour AHCA TNA Training program); and
  3. Established the individual’s competency to perform the duties of a nurse aide by successfully completing an assessment in all areas of required nurse aide training as provided for in 42 CFR 483.152(b) (relating to requirements for approval of a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program) by the hiring entity.

Attestation Form - Submit completed, notarized attestation form with proper payment and required documentation to hdmaster@hdmaster.com by December 15, 2021.

This online attestation form assures Tennessee nursing facility residents, patients, and employers of nurse aides that the named individual seeking nurse aide registry status is: (1) competent in skills and knowledge to perform all of the nurse aide duties as outlined by federal regulations at 42 CFR Part 483 and corresponding state regulations. Once the employer and individual have attested and declared to TDH NAT that the requisite eligibility requirements have been met, the individual shall be deemed to have completed all nurse aide training and competency evaluation program requirements and shall have their name enrolled on the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry.

Attestation form


TNA Bridge Program Timeline

The Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program is a temporary program and will end based on the following schedule:

  • August 16, 2021: Online process begins, completed Attestation Forms may be submitted.
  •  Submit the American Health Care Association (AHCA) certificate of completion of the 8-hour online examination and the completed Temporary Nurse Aide Checklist confirming the individual’s competency to perform the duties of a nurse aide as outlined in 42 CFR 483.152(b) to nurseaid.health@tn.gov by December 15, 2021. NOTE: The AHCA certificate of completion must be prior to or on October 15, 2021.
  • December 15, 2021: Deadline to submit Attestation Form through Submission Portal. All eligible TNAs must submit an attestation form by December 15, 2021.
  • January 14, 2022: Termination of Emergency Rule. 

FAQs

Q. What is the Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program?
A. The purpose of the bridge program is to transition qualifying Temporary Nurse Aides (TNA) to permanent status as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The State of Tennessee approved emergency rules allowing the Tennessee Department of Health Nurse Aide Program (TDH NAT) to deem an individual serving as a TNA as satisfying the requirement of completing a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program if the individual meets certain eligibility requirements.
To participate in the Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program, a TNA must complete the attestation form listing the information below:

1.Worked at least two hundred (200) hours in a nursing home during the public health emergency (PHE), which began in March 2020;

2.Passed a written or oral test, (including the 8-hour online examination by the American Health Care Association (AHCA)); and

3.Established the individual’s competency to perform the duties of a nurse aide by successfully completing an assessment in all areas of required nurse aide training as provided for in 42 CFR 483.152(b) (relating to requirements for approval of a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program) by the hiring entity (Temporary Nurse Aide Checklist).

Q. How Does A Temporary Nurse Aide Submit Information to Transition through the TNA Bridge Program?
A. To enable TNAs to submit the information necessary to be placed on the Nurse Aide Registry as a CNA, the TDH NAT has created an attestation form , which can be accessed on the TDH website. Individual TNAs (or the facilities for which they are working) must use this attestation form to provide the information necessary, and attest that the information submitted is truthful and accurate.

Q. When does the Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program End? 

A. The TNA Bridge Program ends December 15, 2021. 

Q. What is the difference between The Temporary Nurse Aide  Program and Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program ?
A. The Temporary Nurse Aide Program and the TNA Bridge Program are different . Since March 2020, CMS and the State of Tennessee have waived the requirement that an individual work no more than four (4) months in a nursing home without becoming a CNA. TNAs will still be allowed to work in nursing homes until the end of the federal CMS blanket waiver.
TNAs not meeting the TNA Bridge Program deadlines above will not be eligible for this TNA Bridge Program transition process and will be subject to the normal requirement of completing a 75-hour nurse aide training program referenced in 42 CFR 483.35(d) to become certified.

Q. Can a Temporary Nurse Aide be hired as a Certified Nurse Aide? 
A. No. TNAs will be allowed to work in licensed healthcare facilities until the end of the federal CMS blanket waiver. After the federal waiver ends, TNAs will not be allowed to work in facilities as TNAs. Individuals who are not CNAs will be able to work in a “traditional” required 75-hour Nurse Aide Training and Certification Program (NATCEP). 

Q. Does the 8-hour online AHCA Course hours count towards the required 75 Nurse Aide Training Program (NATCP) hours?
A. No, the Temporary Nurse Aide Program and the Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program are separate programs from a Nurse Aide Training Program.

Q. Must a TNA retake the 8-hour online AHCA course for each facility, if they work at different facilities?
A. No

Q. If you have an employee that is a TNA, who has completed a Certified Nurse Aide class, tested but did not pass after 3 attempts, may they remain in a TNA status? 
A. Yes, TNAs will still be allowed to work in licensed healthcare facilites until the end of the federal CMS blanket waiver. 

Q. Can a facility employing a TNA require that person to pay the $20.00 processing fee for the CNA Registry?
A. Consistent with the provisions of 42 C.F.R. §483.152, it is the expectation the facility pays for the program for the person to become a CNA, and that person is not individually charged for any training program. Therefore, the TNA should not be charged for the processing fee, and the facility should pay that fee for any employed TNA who is transitioning to a CNA through the Bridge Program.

Q. Can the facility employing a TNA submit their attestation form or must the TNA make the submission?
A. The employing facility staff can submit the attestation form . However, a separate attestation form must be submitted for each TNA.

Q. If a TNA has worked in more than one facility, which facility should complete the attestation form?
A. We suggest the facility where the TNA is currently working complete the attestation form. However, any facility in which the individual has worked may complete the attestation form.

Q. Does a TNA have to work the 200 hours in a facility with a Nurse Aide Training Program?
A. No.

Q. When are nursing homes resuming Nurse Aide Training Programs? 
A. Many nursing homes have continued their nurse aide training and competency evaluation programs (NATCEP) throughout the Public Health Emergency. While TNAs will still be able to work until the end of the CMS federal waiver, no one who is not a TNA on or after December 15, 2021 will be allowed to use the TNA Bridge Program. After that date individuals will have to complete a traditional nurse aide training program to become a CNA.