New Legislation Affecting Nurses
New Legislation for Nurses, Certified Nurse Aides and Temporary Nurse Aides
The New Jersey General Assembly and Senate also recently passed two statutes, A5059 and A5353, relating to nurses, certified nurse aides and temporary nurse aides. These statutes will become law upon execution by the governor.
A5059 requires the DOH to establish certain nursing education and professional advancement programs. Under the statute, the Board of Nursing must review the current nursing curriculum and education and clinical experience requirements and modify them, as appropriate, to incorporate the Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training Course. The DOH shall do the same with respect to certified nursing aides.
A5353 allows for certification of temporary nurse aides who, during the COVID‑19 public health emergency: (1) successfully completed a training program and competency assessment authorized under a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) waiver; (2) worked a minimum of 80 hours under the supervision of a licensed professional nurse; (3) successfully completed a criminal history record background check; and (4) successfully completed a State‑approved nurse aide written examination in no more than three attempts. Once signed into law, the statute will be effective immediately and shall expire 90 days after the end of the public health emergency.
New Jersey Establishes COVID‑19 Pandemic Task Force on Racial and Health Disparities
A4004, which was just signed into law by the Governor, establishes a COVID‑19 Pandemic Task Force on Racial and Health Disparities in the DOH. The purpose of the Task Force is, among other things, to study the ways in which the COVID‑19 pandemic has disproportionately affected New Jersey’s minority and vulnerable communities and to develop effective strategies to address and eliminate the racial, ethnic, and health disparities that exist with respect to access to high-quality health care and utilization of health care services by members of minority and vulnerable communities. The Task Force shall submit a report to the Governor no later than one year after the public health emergency is lifted, which happened on June 4 and will be effective July 4.
New Nursing Home Legislation Regarding Statewide Assessment
S3032, which passed both the Senate and Assembly, requires the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct a statewide nursing home infection control and prevention infrastructure assessment and, based on that assessment, develop a statewide nursing home infection control and prevention infrastructure improvement plan. The statute expressly requires the DOH to request recommendations from the New Jersey Task Force on Long-Term Care Quality and Safety established pursuant to P.L.2020, c.88. The assessment is to be completed within one year after the effective date of the statute, which will become law after executed by the governor. No later than 180 days after the assessment is completed, the DOH will be required to develop the statewide nursing home infection control and prevention infrastructure improvement plan.