Public News Service: Concerns Raised Over Waiving Training Requirements for NY Nurse Aides (May 25, 2022)
As the pandemic began, the federal government waived certain certification requirements for nurse aides to help with health-care worker shortages. As those waivers are set to end, the federal government is allowing New York and other states to “grandfather” in those nurse aides without having met the pre-pandemic requirements.
As part of the grandfathering process, New York is granting credit for nearly half of a nurse aide’s required training hours if they’ve worked for either 30 days or 150 hours.
In April, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would be phasing the training requirements back in and new nurses will need to meet pre-pandemic requirements. The federal agency acknowledged that waiving requirements gave nursing homes flexibility, but it also led in some cases to poor resident care.
Eric Carlson, directing attorney for the group Justice in Aging, said formal training helps nurse aides build a range of skills to better care for residents.
“It is unfair and inaccurate to just pretend that nurse aides just need to put food in front of people and help them wash up a little bit,” he said. “It is much, much more than that, and nursing-facility residents need high-quality care.”