CA laws on CNAs in nursing homes.

  1. Does anyone know if the state of California requires that nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabs, can only have Certified Nursing Assistants working there? Thanks!
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    About dawngloves

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 2,537; Likes: 369


  3. by   obeyacts2
    Generally rehabs and nursing homes are supposed to have CNAs. The main loophole is that if they have thier own CNA training program they can use the students as cheap labor. The students are required to pass the state CNA exam within a certain period of time. Assisted living pllaces do not require CNAs, but the better facilities usually do. They call the caregivers PCAs.

  4. by   sanakruz
    I do believe it is a reguirement. The ones I have experience with only hired CNA's. (and never enough !)
    Would agree with obeyacts2.
  5. by   Gomer
    I believe it is more of a federal law tied in the Medicare reimbursement. That is, some years ago there was a ruling (or maybe it's a law) that stated to get Medicare funding a sub-acute and acute facility with a sub-acute floor (like a TCU) must prove that their non-licensed staff (e.g., nurse's aids) have completed formal clinical education and are certified to perform certain duties. Certified Nurse's Aid status was born. In Calif. not only are nurse's aids required to be certified by the state; they also are required to take 40 CEU's every 2 yrs (RN's are only required to take 30) and be fingerprinted.
  6. by   dawngloves
    Thank you everyone. I thought it was a state to state law, but I see the Medicare connection.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    I have been told at least 50% must be certified. The others should be getting the hours in. It is 50 hours didactic and 100 hours clinical. My CNA class was a total of 360 hours.
    From the website of regulations in California:
    TITLE 22. Social Security
    Division 5. Licensing and Certification of Health Facilities, Home Health Agencies, Clinics, and Referral Agencies
    Chapter 3. Skilled Nursing Facilities
    Article 3. Required Services
    72315. Nursing Service--Patient Care.

    72315. Nursing Service--Patient Care.

    (a) No patient shall be admitted or accepted for care by a skilled nursing facility except on the order of a physician.

    (b) Each patient shall be treated as individual with dignity and respect and shall not be subjected to verbal or physical abuse of any kind.

    (c) Each patient, upon admission, shall be given orientation to the skilled nursing facility and the facility's services and staff.

    (d) Each patient shall be provided care which shows evidence of good personal hygiene, including care of the skin, shampooing and grooming of hair, oral hygiene, shaving or beard trimming, cleaning and cutting of fingernails and toenails. The patient shall be free of offensive odors.

    (e) Each patient shall be encouraged and/or assisted to achieve and maintain the highest level of self-care and independence. Every effort shall be made to keep patients active, and out of bed for reasonable periods of time, except when contraindicated by physician's orders.

    (f) Each patient shall be given care to prevent formation and progression of decubiti, contractures and deformities. Such care shall include:

    (1) Changing position of bedfast and chairfast patients with preventive skin care in accordance with the needs of the patient.

    (2) Encouraging, assisting and training in self-care and activities of daily living.

    (3) Maintaining proper body alignment and joint movement to prevent contractures and deformities.

    (4) Using pressure-reducing devices where indicated.

    (5) Providing care to maintain clean, dry skin free from feces and urine.

    (6) Changing of linens and other items in contact with the patient, as necessary, to maintain a clean, dry skin free from feces and urine.

    (7) Carrying out of physician's orders for treatment of decubitus ulcers. The facility shall notify the physician, when a decubitus ulcer first occurs, as well as when treatment is not effective, and shall document such notification as required in Section 72311(b).

    (g) Each patient requiring help in eating shall be provided with assistance when served, and shall be provided with training or adaptive equipment in accordance with identified needs, based upon patient assessment, to encourage independence in eating.

    (h) Each patient shall be provided with good nutrition and with necessary fluids for hydration.

    (i) Measures shall be implemented to prevent and reduce incontinence for each patient and shall include:

    (1) Written assessment by a licensed nurse to determine the patient's ability to participate in a bowel and/or bladder management program. This is to be initiated within two weeks after admission of an incontinent patient.

    (2) An individualized plan, in addition to the patient care plan, for each patient in a bowel and/or bladder management program.

    (3) A weekly written evaluation in the progress notes by a licensed nurse of the patient's performance in the bowel and/or bladder management program.

    (j) Fluid intake and output shall be recorded for each patient as follows:

    (1) If ordered by the physician.

    (2) For each patient with an indwelling catheter:

    (A) Intake and output records shall be evaluated at least weekly and each evaluation shall be included in the licensed nurses' progress notes.

    (B ) After 30 days the patient shall be reevaluated by the licensed nurse to determine further need for the recording of intake and output.

    (k) The weight and length of each patient shall be taken and recorded in the patient's health record upon admission, and the weight shall be taken and recorded once a month thereafter.

    (l) Each patient shall be provided visual privacy during treatments and personal care.

    (m) Patient call signals shall be answered promptly.

    72317. Nursing Service--Standing Orders.

    Standing orders shall not be used in skilled nursing facilities.
    72319. Nursing Service--Restraints and Postural Supports.

    (a) Written policies and procedures concerning the use of restraints and postural supports shall be followed.

    (b) Restraints shall only be used with a written order of a physician or other person lawfully authorized to prescribe care. The order must specify the duration and circumstances under which the restraints are to be used. Orders must be specific to individual patients. In accordance with Section 72317, there shall be no standing orders and in accordance with Section 72319(i)(2)(A), there shall be no P.R.N. orders for physical restraints.

    (c) The only acceptable forms of physical restraints shall be cloth vests, soft ties, soft cloth mittens, seat belts and trays with spring release devices. Soft ties means soft cloth which does not cause abrasion and which does not restrict blood circulation.

    (d) Restraints of any type shall not be used as punishment, as a substitute for more effective medical and nursing care, or for the convenience of staff.

    (e) No restraints with locking devices shall be used or available for use in a skilled nursing facility.

    (f) Seclusion, which is defined as the placement of a patient alone in a room, shall not be employed.

    (g) Restraints shall be used in such a way as not to cause physical injury to the patient and to insure the least possible discomfort to the patient.

    (h) Physical restraints shall be applied in such a manner that they can be speedily removed in case of fire or other emergency.

    (i) The requirements for the use of physical restraints are:

    (1) Treatment restraints may be used for the protection of the patient during treatment and diagnostic procedures such as, but not limited to, intravenous therapy or catheterization procedures. Treatment restraints shall be applied for no longer than the time required to complete the treatment.

    (2) Physical restraints for behavior control shall only be used on the signed order of a physician or other person lawfully authorized to prescribe care, except in an emergency which threatens to bring immediate injury to the patient or others. In such an emergency an order may be received by telephone, and shall be signed within 5 days. Full documentation of the episode leading to the use of the physical restraint, the type of the physical restraint used, the length of effectiveness of the restraint time and the name of the individual applying such measures shall be entered in the patient's health record.

    (A) Physical restraints for behavioral control shall only be used with a written order designed to lead to a less restrictive way of managing, and ultimately to the elimination of, the behavior for which the restraint is applied. There shall be no PRN orders for behavioral restraints.

    (B) Each patient care plan which includes the use of physical restraint for behavior control shall specify the behavior to be eliminated, the method to be used and the time limit for the use of the method.

    (C) Patients shall be restrained only in an area that is under supervision of staff and shall be afforded protection from other patients who may be in the area.

    (j) When drugs are used to restrain or control behavior or to treat a disordered thought process, the following shall apply:

    (1) The specific behavior or manifestation of disordered thought process to be treated with the drug is identified in the patient's health record.

    (2) The plan of care for each patient specifies data to be collected for use in evaluating the effectiveness of the drugs and the occurrence of adverse reactions.

    (3) The data collected shall be made available to the prescriber in a consolidated manner at least monthly.

    (4) PRN orders for such drugs shall be subject to the requirements of this section.

    (k) "Postural support" means a method other than orthopedic braces used to assist patients to achieve proper body position and balance. Postural supports may only include soft ties, seat belts, spring release trays or cloth vests and shall only be used to improve a patient's mobility and independent functioning, to prevent the patient from falling out of a bed or chair, or for positioning, rather than to restrict movement. These methods shall not be considered restraints.

    (1) The use of postural support and the method of application shall be specified in the patient's care plan and approved in writing by the physician or other person lawfully authorized to provide care.

    (2) Postural supports shall be applied:
    (A) Under the supervision of a licensed nurse. (B) In accordance with principles of good body alignment and with concern for circulation and allowance for change of position.

    72321. Nursing Service--Patients with Infectious Diseases.

    (a) Patients with infectious diseases shall not be admitted to or cared for in the facility unless the following requirements are met:

    (1) A patient suspected of or diagnosed as having an infectious or reportable communicable disease or being in a carrier state who the attending officer determines is a potential danger, shall be accommodated in a room, vented to the outside, and provided with a separate toilet, hand-washing facility, soap dispenser and individual towels.

    (2) There shall be:

    (A) Separate provisions for handling contaminated linens.

    (B) Separate provisions for handling contaminated dishes.

    (b) The facility shall adopt, observe and implement written infection control policies and procedures. These policies and procedures shall be reviewed at least annually and revised as necessary.

    (c) The following shall be available in each nurse's station:

    (1) The facility's infection control policies and procedures.

    (2) Name, address and telephone numbers of local health officers.

    72323. Nursing Service--Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sterilizing.

    (a) Each facility shall adopt a written manual on cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing procedures. The manual shall include procedures to be used in the care of utensils, instruments, solutions, dressings, articles and surfaces and shall be available for use by facility personnel. All procedures shall be carried out in accordance with the manual.

    (b) Each facility shall make provisions for the cleaning and disinfecting of contaminated articles and surfaces which cannot be sterilized.

    (c) Bedside equipment including but not limited to washbasins, emesis basins, bedpans and urinals shall be sanitized only by one of the following methods:

    (1) Submersion in boiling water for a minimum of 30 minutes.

    (2) Autoclaving at 15 pounds pressure and 121oC (250) for 20 minutes.

    (3) Gas sterilization.

    (d) Chemicals shall not be used as a substitute for the methods specified in (c) above.

    (e) Electronic thermometers shall be cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer's instructions. Glass thermometers shall be cleaned and disinfected for at least 10 minutes with 70 percent ethyl alcohol or 90 percent isopropyl alcohol with 0.2 percent iodine. Oral and rectal thermometers shall be stored separately in clean, labeled containers with fitted lids.

    (f) Individual patient care supply items designed and identified by the manufacturer to be disposable shall not be reused.

    72325. Nursing Service--Space.

    (a) An office or other suitable space shall be provided for the director of nursing service.

    (b) A nursing station shall be maintained in each nursing unit or building.

    (c) Each nursing station shall have a cabinet, a desk, space for records, a bulletin board, a telephone and a specifically designated and well illuminated medication storage compartment with a lockable door. If a separate medication room is maintained, it shall have a lockable door and a sink with water connections for care of equipment and for handwashing.

    (d) If a refrigerator is provided in a nursing station, the refrigerator shall meet the following standards:

    (1) Be located in a clean area not subject to contamination by human waste.

    (2) Maintain temperatures at or below 7oC (45oF) for chilling.

    (3) Maintain the freezer at minus 18oC (0oF).

    (4) Contain an accurate thermometer at all times.

    (5) If foods are retained in the refrigerator, they shall be covered and clearly identified as to contents and date initially covered.

    (a) The director of nursing service shall be a registered nurse and shall be employed eight hours a day, on the day shift five days a week.

    (b) The director of nursing service shall have at least one year of experience in nursing supervision within the last five years.

    (c) The director of nursing service shall have, in writing, administrative authority, responsibility and accountability for the nursing services within the facility and serve only one facility in this capacity at any one time.

    Authority cite: Sections 208(a) and 1275, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Section 1276, Health and Safety Code.

    72329. Nursing Service--Staff.

    * Note * History

    (a) Nursing service personnel shall be employed and on duty in at least the number and with the qualifications determined by the Department to provide the necessary nursing services for patients admitted for care. The Department may require a facility to provide additional staff as set forth in Section 72501(g).

    (b) Facilities licensed for 59 or fewer beds shall have at least one registered nurse or a licensed vocational nurse, awake and on duty, in the facility at all times, day and night.

    (c) Facilities licensed for 60 to 99 beds shall have at least one registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse, awake and on duty, in the facility at all times, day and night, in addition to the director of nursing services. The director of nursing service shall not have charge nurse responsibilities.

    (d) Facilities licensed for 100 or more beds shall have at least one registered nurse, awake and on duty, in the facility at all times, day and night, in addition to the director of nursing service. The director of nursing service shall not have charge nurse responsibilities.

    (e) Nursing stations shall be staffed with nursing personnel when patients are housed in the nursing unit.

    (f) Each facility shall employ sufficient nursing staff to provide a minimum daily average of 3.0 nursing hours per patient day.

    (1) Facilities which provide care for mentally disordered patients and in which licensed psychiatric technicians provide patient care shall meet the following standards:

    (A) If patients are not certified for special treatment programs, facilities shall employ sufficient staff to provide a minimum daily average of 3.0 nursing hours per patient day.

    (B) For patients certified for special treatment programs, facilities shall employ sufficient staff to provide a minimum daily average of 2.3 nursing hours per patient day for each patient certified to the special treatment program, exclusive of additional staff required to meet the staffing standards of the special treatment program.

    (g) Staffing for a distinct part intermediate care unit in a skilled nursing facility:

    (1) Units of less than 50 intermediate care beds shall not be required to provide licensed personnel in addition to those provided in the skilled nursing facility unless the Department determines through a written evaluation that additional licensed personnel are necessary to protect the health and safety of patients.

    (2) Units of 50 or more intermediate care beds shall provide a registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse employed 8 hours on the day shift, 7 days per week in the unit.

    (3) For purposes of this section intermediate care beds that are licensed as such by the Department shall not be included for establishing licensed nurse staffing as required in Section 72329(f)(1) if the unit is used exclusively for intermediate care patients.


    Authority cited: Sections 208(a), 1275 and 1276.5, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 1276 and 1276.5, Health and Safety Code; and Section 14110.7(c), Welfare and Institutions Code.


    1. Amendment of subsection (f) filed 9-23-85 as an emergency; effective upon filing (Register 85, No. 39). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL within 120 days or emergency language will be repealed on 1-21-86.

    2. Certificate of Compliance transmitted to OAL 1-17-86 and filed 2-10-86 (Register 86, No. 7).

    72331. Nursing Service-Nurse Assistant Training and Certificate.

    Authority cited: Sections 208(a) and 1275, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 1137.7 through 1338.3, 1439.1 through 1439.8 and 1276, Health and Safety Code.
  8. by   Brownms46
    California law on Certification of CNAs:
  9. by   kids
    I don't know CA however in WA assisted livings do not have the same rules as nursing homes and SNFs as nursing is not an primary component of the services they provide. In WA they are not required to staff with NA-Cs.