I’m still confused about how to evaluate staff competencies. Does CMS have resources available?

The new staff competency requirements may seem challenging at first. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reinvested some of the funds collected from civil money penalties to develop tools and resources to guide facility leaders through a staff competencies assessment process.  

Three separate toolkits assess staff in different roles: (1) certified nursing assistants/certified medication technicians (CNA/CMT); (2) licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/LVN) and registered nurses (RN); and (3) assistant directors of nursing (ADON), directors of nursing (DON), and administrators. Each toolkit is a complete package, including videos, talking points, an email memo, a poster, an assessment completion tracker, a manager’s guide to meeting one-on-one with staff, and an assessment worksheet to compile and analyze results, designed to support your nursing home’s existing learning-and-development standards of practice.

The toolkit for the licensed nursing staff such as RNs and LPN/LVNs includes a competency assessment that covers behavioral, technical and resident-based skills — covering everything from ethics to infection control to detecting resident change in condition and pain management.

There is a separate, detailed assessment for CNA/CMTs that also covers CNA-level questions on ethics, problem-solving, documentation, resident falls, urinary incontinence and more.  

Staff competency requirements, which help reduce adverse events, needn’t be overwhelming. These toolkits are there to support nurse leaders. Download the toolkits and use them today!

Please send your nursing-related questions to Judi Kulus at ltcnews@mcknights.com.