CMS blanket 1135 waivers
and Governor Tony Evers’ Emergency Order 21
provided state and federal regulations allowing the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Division of Quality Assurance to develop several training options to respond to the unprecedented need for additional certified nurse aides (CNAs) to join the workforce during the COVID-19 crisis.
As of May 11, the public health emergency order expired and Emergency Order 21 is no longer in effect. The unprecedented need for caregivers did not end on May 11, however, and DHS is actively working through the emergency rulemaking process to extend expedited training and employment options. Pending the publication of the Emergency Rule, DHS has established a waiver request process to allow entities and facilities to continue to hire and train caregivers through the Emergency Nurse Aide Training Program.
Until the emergency rule is promulgated, both approved and temporary Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs may request a waiver to allow for the continuation of training and hiring nurse aides to work in facilities. DHS continues to accept applications for new Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs; new programs also have to apply for a waiver.
To request a waiver:
- Email the Nurse Aide Training and Testing Program
- Include the name of the facility and a request for a waiver of “all applicable regulations to allow for the continuation of the Emergency Nurse Aide Training Program.” It is not necessary to include specific regulatory references in your request.
DHS can accept students via the online survey who were hired and started training while the emergency order was in effect. Therefore, currently approved Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs may continue to train students who began their training on or before May 18, 2020, without a waiver; current programs will have to apply for a waiver to train students new to the program after May 18, 2020. Temporary nurse aides who have completed an Emergency Nurse Aide Training Program may also continue to work at this time.
WHA will monitor for publication of the Emergency Rule and provide notice when the rule is in effect and individual waiver requests are no longer necessary.