a wheelchair and empty hospital bed in nursing home with large window in background

Take Action: Oppose Weakened Nurse Aid Training

It is no secret that better quality nursing equals better quality care. Over the past few years, it has been a focus of nursing home care advocates to ensure the care residents are getting is the best possible. From staffing standards to education, to better investigations, battling isolation, and improving complaint substantiation rules advocates have worked hard to ensure the risk to residents is minimized. To continue this effort, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has written a formal opposition to H.R. 468 and H.R. 3227/H.R. 8244 which would weaken nursing aid training.

Why It’s Important

Research has made it clear that the safety of nursing home residents depends heavily on the quality of the nursing home staff and the standards they are held to. Waivers issued during COVID proved to be detrimental to nursing home residents. The COVID-era waivers “permitted untrained nurse aides to work in nursing homes for longer than four months without meeting a state’s training and certification requirements.” 

This lack of training directly led to an increase in abuse, weight loss, depression, and pressure ulcers. And as we try to improve nursing homes, it seems a major step backwards to no longer require high standards in nursing aid education and certification.

What the Bills Say

H.R. 468 would effectively reinstate the low COVID-19 requirements, allowing nursing aids to count experience as part of their 75-hours of training. While hands-on experience is good, it is unlikely that nursing aids would have thorough and comprehensive experience with all types of care needed in nursing homes. Whereas, traditional certification training would ensure all types of care are covered.

The other bills, H.R. 3227/H.R. 8244, address Certified Nursing Aid programs run by nursing homes. Current law states that nursing facilities are able to conduct their own CNA training programs. However, nursing facilities with a violation can petition the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive the violation, allowing the facility to operate their CNA program. H.R. 3227/H.R. 8244, if passed, would allow facilities to waive the violation and instate their CNA program without the knowledge or approval of the Secretary of Health.

What You Can Do

As an advocate for better nursing home care, you can join CMS and others in writing to your representatives and encouraging them to vote “No” on these bills. Find your representative and their information and write a letter, email, or call them to have your voice heard!

If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (866-642-5915) for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.