The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.


Nursing assistant reminders

Nicole Mattson
By Nicole Mattson, HSE, SHRM-SCP, SPHR  |  September 30, 2022  |  All members

Fourth testing opportunity
Nurse Aide Registry candidates will have up to four chances to pass the knowledge exam beginning October 3. MDH is offering an additional learning opportunity for the knowledge test due to the pandemic, and changes in the knowledge test through March 2023. Candidates typically have three opportunities to pass the knowledge and skills tests. MDH is adding a fourth opportunity for the knowledge test for a limited time starting October 3 and will be reviewed by MDH in March 2023 to determine next steps.

If a candidate is unable to pass the knowledge test after the four attempts or the skills test after three attempts, they must complete a new Nurse Aide Training Competency Program (NATCEP). MDH continually monitors nursing assistant training and competency. MDH understands the pandemic, the testing backlog, and the changes to the knowledge testing exam added additional pressures to the testing system and the candidates themselves. After careful consideration, MDH will add a fourth testing opportunity beginning October 3, for nursing assistant candidates to pass the knowledge test. 

The knowledge test will continue to consist of 70 questions. There are no other changes for the knowledge test. Recently, MDH extended the test time to two hours to accommodate different learning styles and cultures. This does not change the test results for those who have previously taken the test. MDH will continue to monitor nursing assistant training and competency, recruit and support the healthcare workforce for all Minnesotans. 

Nurse aide candidates hired under the waiver—Last week to schedule your test now to work after October 6 
This is the last week to take and pass the nurse aide knowledge and skills test to continue working in the fall, if they were hired under the 1135 waiver. To clarify, the “four month rule” still applies, which would allow you to employ a person today who is enrolled in a nursing assistant training course and is deemed competent for their role, however this person cannot work beyond the four month period:

Minimum competency. A facility must not use any individual who has worked less than 4 months as a nurse aide in that facility unless the individual:
(i) Is a full-time employee in a State-approved training and competency evaluation program;
(ii) Has demonstrated competence through satisfactory participation in a State-approved nurse aide training and competency evaluation program or competency evaluation program; or
(iii) Has been deemed or determined competent as provided in § 483.150(a) and (b).

  • Nurse aides working under a waiver have until October 6 to pass the nurse aide knowledge and skills test—start your testing early to ensure you pass the test before October 6
  • Start testing early—don’t let summer pass by without taking the nurse aide knowledge and skills test
  • Each candidate gets three opportunities to take the nurse aide knowledge and skills test
  • Find a testing location—you can find testing locations throughout the state to get certified and get working
  • Remember to sign up for the waiting list as they may open up new sections at popular locations based on demand

Testing locations and resources

Nicole Mattson  |  Vice President of Strategic Initiatives  |  |  952-851-2482


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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.

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