Information Bulletin 99-13
Nursing Assistant Training
Competency Evaluation And Eligibility
This bulletin provides information on eligibility requirements for individuals wishing to be placed on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry and replaces Informational Bulletin 93-2. It includes updated information on 1999 legislative changes to Minnesota Statute 144A.61 regarding nursing assistant training and competency evaluation program.
The 1999 Minnesota Legislature enacted legislative changes effective August 1, 1999 which allow a person who successfully completes the competency evaluation program to be placed on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry as a nursing assistant.
Nursing Assistant Definition
Minnesota Statute 144A.61, Subd 2 as amended by the 1999 legislature defines a nursing assistant as follows:
Nursing assistants. For the purposes of this section and section 144A.611 "nursing
assistant" means a nursing home or certified boarding care home employee, including a nurse's aide or an orderly,
who is assigned by the director of nursing to provide or assist in the provision of nursing or nursing-related
services under the supervision of a registered nurse. "Nursing assistant" includes nursing assistants employed
by nursing pool companies but does not include a licensed health professional.
Competency Evaluation Program Eligibility; Removal of Approved Training Program Requirement
Minnesota Statute 144A.61, Subd. 3a as amended by the 1999 legislature allows an individual wishing to be placed on the nursing assistant registry to take the competency evaluation program as stated below:
Competency evaluation program. The commissioner of health shall approve the
competency evaluation program. A competency evaluation must be administered to nursing
assistants persons who desire to be listed in the nursing assistant registry and who have done one of the following. (1) completed an approved training program, or (2) are enrolled
in a licensed nurse education program. The tests may only be administered by technical
colleges, community colleges, or other organizations approved by the department of health.
The commissioner of health shall approve a nursing assistant for the registry without
requiring a competency evaluation if the nursing assistant is in good standing on a nursing
assistant registry in another state.
Effective August 1, 1999, any individual is eligible to take the approved nursing assistant competency evaluation. This may include but is not limited to individuals without any nursing assistant training, individuals who have trained in another country, and individuals who have not worked as a nursing assistant in the last 24 months.
This means the nursing assistant must have successfully completed the competency evaluation before beginning to work unless the individual is enrolled in an approved training program at the time of hire and successfully completes that training and competency evaluation program during their first four months of employment. Refer to Minnesota Statute 144A.61, Subd 6a.
Facilities may not hire and enroll an individual in an approved training program and then have the individual take the "test out only" option rather than complete the course. Those individuals taking the test out option must successfully pass the test prior to employment.
Routes of Eligibility
Nursing assistants wishing to be placed on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry must meet one of the following requirements:
- Successfully complete an approved nursing assistant training and competency evaluation program in Minnesota.
Individuals testing under this option have three opportunities to take the competency test. If the individual fails the competency test three times, they must take a new approved nursing assistant training program before they are eligible to test again.
- Currently be in good standing on the nursing assistant registry in another state.
- Successfully pass the approved competency test for nursing assistants.
Individuals testing under this option have three opportunities to take the competency test. If the individual fails the competency test three times, they must complete an approved nursing assistant training program before they are eligible to test again.
Any individual who completed the competency evaluation more than 24 months previously, and has not worked in Minnesota performing nursing or nursing related duties within the past 24 months, must take a new approved nursing assistant training and competency evaluation program or competency evaluation in order to be eligible for placement and/or renewal on the registry.
Evaluation of Modifications in Competency Evaluation Program.
The 1999 Minnesota legislature also added Minnesota Statute 144A.61, Section 3 which states:
After one year of implementation, the commissioner of health shall evaluate the impact of allowing persons to take a nursing assistant competency evaluation test without first completing an approved training program or enrolling in a licensed nurse education program. The evaluation must include a determination of the positive and negative impact, if any, of allowing persons to qualify as nursing assistants without completing a training program. The result of the evaluation must be reported to the chairs of the house health and human services committee and the senate health and family security committee by December 1, 2000.
The Minnesota Department of Health will collect data on individuals taking the nursing assistant competency test without first completing an approved training program. MDH will also monitor the impact of this legislative change on the quality of care provided by nursing assistants to nursing home residents. This may include facility questionnaires, other input from health care providers and the state survey agency.
Any questions about this bulletin should be directed in writing to the:
Nursing Assistant Registry
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 300
P.O. Box 64501
St. Paul, MN 55164-0501
Or via telephone to the Nursing Assistant Registry