Skip Navigation LinksCOVID-19-NATP-FAQs

Licensing and Certification program

Nurse Assistant Training Programs
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Professional Certification Branch has prepared this list of FAQs to assist stakeholders with questions about temporary waivers of certain Nurse Assistant Training Program (NATP) requirements during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

The information provided here is based solely on CDPH's All Facilities Letters (AFLs) 20-22, 20-38, 20-40, and the Governor's Executive Order N-39-20, related to the COVID-19 state of emergency.

For general information about the licensing and certification process, please visit the Licensing and Certification webpage.

 

Program Flexibility Questions

Why is the CDPH granting Program Flexibility at this time?

CDPH taking this unprecedented action due to the significant challenges California's health care system is facing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

CDPH will continue to review, provide guidance related to, and conduct enforcement activities for allegations of the most serious violations impacting health and safety, pursuant to Executive Order N-39-20.

For how long are the program flex requests approved?

Program flex requests that are approved pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order N-39-20 and AFL 20-40 are temporary, and will be valid until it is determined they are no longer necessary.

 

Theory Training Questions

Can theory training be conducted using a distance learning format until a college/school reopens?

Yes.  An NATP may provide the 60 required hours of classroom training through a distance learning or online training method immediately upon electronic submission of notification to CDPH. Notification must be submitted to the Professional Certification Branch, Training Program Review Unit (TPRU) via email at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov. In the subject line, be sure to reference 'COVID-19' and the notification will be processed expeditiously.  (See AFL 20-40)

Can an NATP postpone theory training until a college/school reopens?

Yes.  An NATP may postpone theory training until the program is able to resume training following all applicable guidelines, and as long as the training program is still active with the Department when the college/school reopens.

Is approval from CDPH needed to change theory or clinical training hours due to COVID-19?

No.  However, NATPs and nursing facilities must notify CDPH of changes to theory or clinical training hours. Submit notification of changes to training hours to the Professional Certification Branch, TPRU, via email at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov. (See AFL 20-40)

Is approval from CDPH needed to change core curriculum, program staff, or contracted services?

Yes.  NATPs and nursing facilities must obtain approval from CDPH prior to making changes to core curriculum, program staff, or contracted services. Submit change requests to the Professional Certification Branch, TPRU, via email at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov. (See AFL 20-40)

 

Face-to-Face (Classroom) Training Questions

How many students can be allowed in a classroom due to COVID-19?

Please follow the most current federal, state, and local, guidance on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and helping to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment when considering face-to-face training.

 

Clinical Training Questions

Can an NATP provide clinical training in a location other than a skilled nursing facility and an intermediate care facility during the COVID-19 emergency?

Yes, with an approved waiver. An NATP may apply for waivers for alternative ways to conduct clinical training such as simulation or laboratory return demonstration with the assistance of distance learning or online methods. Requests for these specific emergency waivers must be submitted to the Medical and Health Coordination Center via email at CHCQDutyOfficer@cdph.ca.gov, using form CDPH 5000A (PDF) (See AFL 20-40)

Can an NATP substitute laboratory or simulation hours for clinical hours?

Yes, with an approved waiver.  An NATP and a nursing facility may also apply for waivers for alternative ways to conduct clinical training such as simulation or laboratory return demonstration with the assistance of distance learning or online methods. Requests for these specific emergency waivers must be submitted to the Medical and Health Coordination Center via email at CHCQDutyOfficer@cdph.ca.gov, using form CDPH 5000A (PDF).  (See AFL 20-40)

Are students allowed to obtain their clinical experience in a facility during the COVID-19 emergency?

CDPH encourages students obtaining their clinical experience as part of an approved nurse assistant, vocational nurse, or registered nurse training program be permitted to come into the facility, provided they meet the CDC guidelines for healthcare workers to maintain the workforce needed during this pandemic.  (See AFL-20-22 and AFL-20-38)

What can an NATP do when a clinical site refuses to let students do their clinical hours in the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) due to COVID-19?

If a SNF refuses to allow students into the facility due to the COVID-19 emergency, you may:

  1.  Try to find another SNF clinical site that is willing to take students. If you are successful, email the proposed clinical training site agreement CPDH 276E (PDF) to the TPRU mailbox at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov. In the subject line, please reference 'COVID-19.'
  2. Apply for an emergency waiver to request alternative ways to conduct clinical training such as simulation or laboratory return demonstration with the assistance of distance learning or online methods. Requests for these types of emergency waivers must be submitted to the Medical and Health Coordination Center via email at CHCQDutyOfficer@cdph.ca.gov, using form CDPH 5000A (PDF). (See AFL 20-40)
  3.  If you cannot find another SNF clinical site, then postpone the clinical training schedule until the SNF allows students to return.

How many students can we send to clinical training due to COVID-19?

Please follow the most current federal, state, and local, guidance on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and helping to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment when considering the number of students that may be sent to clinical training.

 

Clinical Training Site Agreements due to COVID-19

How many clinical training site agreements can an NATP have?

There is no maximum number of clinical training site agreements that an NATP can have. We encourage multiple clinical training site agreements in order to provide your training program with the most flexibility.

 

General Questions due to COVID-19

Is it necessary to resubmit CDPH 283B forms if the end date of the training goes beyond the original timeframe due to COVID-19?

Yes.  However, only submit an updated CDPH 283B (PDF) when you have an actual end date for the training program. Estimated or anticipated training end dates will not be accepted by the Department.

Can a nursing facility provide online or distance learning in-service training to CNA employees during the COVID-19 emergency?

Yes.  Nursing facilities may provide annual in-service training through an online or distance learning format immediately upon electronic submission of notification to CDPH. Notification must be submitted to the Professional Certification Branch, TPRU via email at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov. (See AFL 20-40)

Can a portion of the Orientation Training for Nurse Assistants and CNAs be provided online or through distance learning due to COVID-19?

Yes.  Nursing facilities may provide a portion of the required orientation program activities through an online or distance learning format immediately upon electronic submission of notification to CDPH. Notification must be submitted to the Professional Certification Branch, TPRU, via email at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov. (See AFL 20-40)

The attendance sheet must be maintained, lesson plans must be followed, and the CNAs must receive pay for attending the training

​​
Page Last Updated :