General Interest Skilled Nursing

SNF Workforce Bill Meets Last Minute Opposition

After enjoying consistent bipartisan support and without a “no” vote, the LeadingAge California sponsored bill that improves the nursing home administrator training and credentialing process and expands CNA career opportunities faced last minute opposition from the Department of Public Health.

AB 1709 (Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles) updates several areas of the examination and training requirements for Administrators in Training (AITs) and Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs). Notably, the bill provides for a training model that would expand the opportunity for administrators to be trained in a group setting, rather than the antiquated apprenticeship model that currently exists.

Currently, AITs can only be trained on the job under a practicing nursing home administrator (two at a time) by the individual actively running the facility in which they receive training. AB 1709 updates these provisions to allow for a corporate training model that allows consistency and higher volume by removing the 2 person cap.

In a letter from the Department of Public Health to the bill’s author, the Department cited general patient safety concerns but did not offer concrete examples of the problems AB 1709 would create. LeadingAge California will continue to work with the Department to address its concerns over the legislative interim recess hoping to move the bill in 2020.