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Wisconsin Nurse Aide Certificate Update

PDF Version of DQA 08-022 (PDF, 35 KB)

Date: July 8, 2008 -- DQA Memo 08-022
To: Community Based Residential Facilities CBRF 11
Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled FDD 12
Home Health Agencies HHA 09
Hospices HSPC 11
Hospitals HOSP 13
Licensed Adult Family Homes AFH 11
Nurse Aide Training Programs
NATP 07
Nursing Homes
NH 17
Residential Care Apartment Complexes
RCAC 10
From: Shari Busse, Director
Office of Caregiver Quality
cc:

Otis Woods, Administrator
Division of Quality Assurance

Wisconsin Nurse Aide Certificate Update

The purpose of this memo is to provide clarification regarding nurse aide requirements for employment eligibility in healthcare provider settings in Wisconsin, and to explain the rationale for removing the expiration date from the Nurse Aide Card.

Placement on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry

A nurse aide's name is placed on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry only after having satisfied the necessary training and testing requirements. The nurse aide is then eligible to work for a two-year period (from the date tested) in federally certified healthcare settings.

The expiration date can be extended for another two years as long as the individual has no substantiated finding of misconduct and if the nurse aide performed nursing-related duties under the supervision of a nurse during the previous 24 months. The nurse aide must submit the employment information on a renewal form, and the healthcare provider that employed the nurse aide must verify the nurse aide met the employment requirements.

Verifying Employment Eligibility

A healthcare provider, regardless of type, that is a prospective employer, must verify that each nurse aide hired is eligible to perform nursing-related duties in the provider's healthcare setting:

  • Providers can perform this verification by doing a registry search on the Pearson VUE website at http://www.pearsonvue.com. The website search method allows the inquirer to print a copy of the nurse aide's status at the time of the verification check.

  • If the employer does not have access to the Internet, they may contact Pearson VUE at 1-877-329-8760 to verify the nurse aide's eligibility to perform nursing-related duties. Either approach will provide the most current information and employment eligibility status for each nurse aide and are available to the public.

Updating Federal Employment Eligibility

Nurse aide with expired federal eligibility who has been working in last 24 months:

If the nurse aide's status on the Registry indicates the nurse aide's federal employment eligibility has expired, but there is no substantiated finding of misconduct in the person's name on the Registry, and the healthcare provider can confirm the nurse aide has provided nursing-related duties for pay under the supervision of a nurse in the 24 months prior to the expiration date; the nurse aide is eligible to work in a federally-certified healthcare setting. 

The healthcare provider must place a copy of the verifying documentation in the nurse aide's personnel file. The nurse aide must still submit a Renewal Form to Pearson Vue to have the aide's federal employment eligibility status updated.

Nurse aide with expired federal eligibility who has not worked in last 24 months:

If the nurse aide does not have a substantiated finding on the Registry in their name, and did not perform nursing-related duties under the supervision of a nurse in the previous 24 months, the aide must successfully pass a nurse aide competency evaluation examination in order to regain the eligibility to work in a federally-certified facilities. 

Once this is accomplished, the nurse aide's status is updated on the Registry and the aide is eligible to work in a federally-certified healthcare setting for two years from the date that the aide successfully passed the competency evaluation examination.

Rationale for Removing Expiration Date from Registry Card

Previously, the Department had included the nurse aide's federal employment eligibility expiration date on each card issued to a nurse aide. However, this card only provides information and the status of the nurse aide at the time the card is printed.

Example: 

A nurse aide provides the healthcare provider with a Registry Card with an expiration date of October 10, 2008.

If a substantiated finding for misconduct were placed on the Registry in the nurse aide's name on May 12, 2008, the nurse aide's expiration date would now be May 12, 2008.

The expiration date on the card is incorrect and no longer valid.

The Department has received a number of phone calls from healthcare providers who have relied on the expiration date on the nurse aide card and employed a nurse aide with that expiration date in mind, only to find out later that the nurse aide was not eligible for employment because a substantiated finding of caregiver misconduct was placed on the Caregiver Misconduct Registry after the card was issued.

Providers question how a nurse aide can have a Registry Card with an expiration date in the future and at the same time have a substantiated finding listed on the Registry. Again, the card is only as current as the day it is printed.

Therefore, nurse aide cards will no longer include an expiration date. A healthcare provider must verify a nurse aide's eligibility to work by checking that aide's status on the nurse aide registry via the website or by calling Pearson VUE.

Questions

See the website at http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/caregiver/NATD/NrsAidTrgPrgInf.HTM  for more information.

Contact the Office of Caregiver Quality at DHSCaregiverIntake@wisconsin.gov or (608) 261-8319 with questions.

 

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