Work performed during pandemic would count toward training requirement
State Rep. Ann Bollin today led the Michigan House in approving a measure to ensure those who stepped up to serve as direct care workers at nursing facilities during the pandemic receive credit toward their certification.
“Over the last year and a half, health care professionals have been on the front lines of the most severe public health crisis of our lifetime,” Bollin said. “Temporary nurse aides have received invaluable on-the-job training during this time. My goal is to make sure they receive the credit they deserve, so they can obtain certification and continue to advance in their careers.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services waived requirements that nurse aides must be certified to work in a nursing facility for longer than four months. Michigan has utilized this waiver to bring more than 2,000 workers into the long-term care setting to address critical workforce shortages. These temporary aides are working primarily as caregivers providing necessary care and services typically provided by certified nurse aides (CNAs).
WellBridge Group CEO Michael Perry, who operates skilled nursing facilities in Livingston County, said the reform is necessary.
“Our company and others embraced the opportunity to bring these enthusiastic, dedicated caregivers into our facilities,” Perry said. “Allowing them to continue to provide care as they have done for much of the pandemic will benefit both staff and residents in Michigan’s nursing facilities. We appreciate Rep. Bollin working to find a solution to this important workforce problem.”
Bollin’s measure, House Bill 5089, ensures that hours worked as a temporary aide during the pandemic will count toward the 75-hour training requirement to become a CNA. It also includes an option for online training and an online competency evaluation.
The plan now advances to the Senate for further consideration.
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