(1) To serve as a nursing assistant in any nursing home, a person must be certified as a nursing assistant under part II of chapter 464, unless the person is a registered nurse or practical nurse licensed in accordance with part I of chapter 464 or an applicant for such licensure who is permitted to practice nursing in accordance with rules adopted by the Board of Nursing pursuant to part I of chapter 464.
(2) The following categories of persons who are not certified as nursing assistants under part II of chapter 464 may be employed by a nursing facility for a single consecutive period of 4 months:
(a) Persons who are enrolled in, or have completed, a state-approved nursing assistant program.
(b) Persons who have been positively verified as actively certified and on the registry in another state with no findings of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in that state.
(c) Persons who have preliminarily passed the state’s certification exam.
(d) Persons who are employed as personal care attendants and who have completed the personal care attendant training program developed pursuant to s. 400.141(1)(w). As used in this paragraph, the term “personal care attendants” means persons who meet the training requirement in s. 400.141(1)(w) and provide care to and assist residents with tasks related to the activities of daily living.
The certification requirement must be met within 4 months after initial employment as a nursing assistant in a licensed nursing facility.
(3) Nursing homes shall require persons seeking employment as a certified nursing assistant to submit an employment history to the facility. The facility shall verify the employment history unless, through diligent efforts, such verification is not possible. There shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages shall arise against, a former employer who reasonably and in good faith communicates his or her honest opinion about a former employee’s job performance.
(4) When employed by a nursing home facility for a 12-month period or longer, a nursing assistant, to maintain certification, shall submit to a performance review every 12 months and must receive regular inservice education based on the outcome of such reviews. The inservice training must: (a) Be sufficient to ensure the continuing competence of nursing assistants and must meet the standard specified in s. 464.203(7); (b) Include, at a minimum:
1. Techniques for assisting with eating and proper feeding;
2. Principles of adequate nutrition and hydration;
3. Techniques for assisting and responding to the cognitively impaired resident or the resident with difficult behaviors;
4. Techniques for caring for the resident at the end-of-life; and
5. Recognizing changes that place a resident at risk for pressure ulcers and falls; and
(c) Address areas of weakness as determined in nursing assistant performance reviews and may address the special needs of residents as determined by the nursing home facility staff.
Costs associated with this training may not be reimbursed from additional Medicaid funding through interim rate adjustments.