The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) required states to initiate and maintain Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs and a Nurse Aide Registry. 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 Connecticut 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.
Nurse Aide Training ProgramThis information will assist potential nurse aide students in locating and selecting a training and 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 of the change. Substantial changes may include the following:
- Name, address, and telephone number of the facility, institution or agency offering the program, including the clinical site.
- The program coordinator/instructor
- Statement of course objectives; or
- Description of course content specifying the number of hours in classroom and clinical settings.
The State of Connecticut requires that a nurse aide training program be at least 100 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
- Safety and Emergency Procedures including the Heimlich Maneuver, and
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.
The Practitioner Licensing and Investigations Section reviews and approves the certified nurse aide training programs throughout the state. Currently there are approximately 155 of these training programs approved by the Department of Public Health.
Requirements for CNA CertificationIn order to be certified on the Connecticut 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.
Requirements for Initiating a CNA Program
The Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut, Section 19-13-D8t (l)(1)(A) requires any organization electing to conduct a nurse’s aide training program to submit for review and approval a nurse’s aide training curriculum on forms provided by the Department. A standardized format has been developed by the Department of Public Health. Any Private Occupational School intending to provide a nurse’s aide training program in accordance with the regulations noted above must complete the forms enclosed with this letter and return them to this Department. Approval of the nurse’s aide training program will include a review of the submitted curriculum, as well as an unannounced on-site review of the training facilities and equipment. Use these directions to fill out and submit a curriculum. Please use the Sample Curriculum as a “tool” for developing your own individual curriculum. It is required that the clinical component of the nurse’s aide training program is provided in a licensed Chronic and Convalescent Nursing Home or Rest Home with Nursing Supervision setting. Approval will be granted only after the Department has determined the organization complies with the requirements of the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut. Ongoing approval will be contingent upon on-site observations of training programs by representatives of the Department of Public Health. The Classroom Schedule Form is to be used in order to keep the Department of Public Health advised of the DATES and HOURS OF TRAINING of all nurse’s aide training programs to be provided.
Requirements for Primary Training Instructors
Qualified personnel form the health field may serve as trainers in the nurse’s aide training program under the supervision of the nurse’s aide primary training instructor provided they have a minimum of one year of experience in a facility for the elderly or chronically ill of any age within the immediately preceding five years. These health field personnel may include: Registered nurses, sanitarians, fire safety experts, nursing home administrators, gerontologists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, therapeutic recreation specialists, speech/language/hearing therapists. All trainers should be, where applicable, licensed, registered and/or certified in their field.
Licensed practical nurses, under the supervision of the nurse’s aide primary training instructor, may serve as trainers in the nurse’s aide training program provided the licensed practical nurse has two years experience in caring for the elderly or chronically ill of any age.