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April 09, 2020

California Suspends CNA Professional Certification Requirements for Duration of COVID-19 State of Emergency

California’s Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) announced this week that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is waiving certain professional certification requirements for certified nurse assistants (CNAs) through the end of California’s declared state of emergency. Specifically, CNAs may 1) delay completion of their training programs and competency testing until after the end of the declared emergency; 2) provide patient care prior to completing a tuberculosis test; 3) complete all continuing education requirements for certification renewal via remote learning; 4) continue to work as a CNA for the duration of the emergency, despite certification expiring within the past two years; and 5) if licensed as a vocational nurse or registered nurse in another state, begin working as a CNA in California immediately upon submission of an application for certification to CDPH. In addition, persons working as a CNA will not be required to submit proof of fingerprinting completion, and are not required to notify the CDPH of a change of address until 30 days after the expiration of the state of emergency. CDPH noted that due to this temporary waiver, facilities do not need to submit individual program flexibility requests to employ nurse assistants or CNAs using the waivers specified above.