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State Rep. Ann Bollin testifies before the House Health Policy Committee in support of her plan to help those who stepped up to serve as direct care workers at nursing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic receive their certification and advance their careers.

Rep. Bollin spearheads plan to help frontline workers advance their careers
RELEASE|June 24, 2021
Contact: Ann Bollin

Measure ensures pandemic work experience counts toward certification

State Rep. Ann Bollin is spearheading a plan to help those who stepped up to serve as direct care workers at nursing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic receive their certification and advance their careers.

“Temporary nurse’s aides have worked through some of the most challenging times the profession has ever experienced,” said Bollin, of Brighton Township. “They have been on the front lines of the most severe public health crisis of our lifetimes. It only seems right to recognize the on-the-job training received as a temporary aide and assist these direct care workers in obtaining their certifications.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services waived requirements that nurse aides must be certified to work in a nursing facility for longer than four months. Michigan has utilized this waiver to bring more than 2,000 workers into the long-term care setting to address critical workforce shortages. These temporary aides are working primarily as caregivers providing necessary care and services typically provided by certified nurse aides (CNAs). 

WellBridge Group CEO Michael Perry operates skilled nursing facilities in Livingston County.

“Our company and others embraced the opportunity to bring these enthusiastic, dedicated caregivers into our facilities,” Perry said. “Allowing them to continue to provide care as they have done for much of the pandemic will benefit both staff and residents in Michigan’s nursing facilities. We appreciate Rep. Bollin working to find a solution to this important workforce problem.”

Bollin’s measure, House Bill 5089, ensures that hours worked as a temporary aide during the pandemic will count toward the 75-hour training requirement to become a CNA. It also includes an option for online training and an online competency evaluation.

The plan remains under consideration by the House Health Policy Committee.

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