Gov. Stitt approves emergency order to provide hiring flexibilities for nurse aides

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has approved an emergency rule that would help put nurses aide trainees in health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The emergency rule provides approval of temporary emergency waivers for the employment of nurse aide trainees in employer based nurse aide training programs.

“Due to the on-going pandemic, access to training and testing for certain health care occupations is limited,” said Gov. Stitt. “Our health care professionals across the state are working hard to effectively keep Oklahomans safe and healthy. This rule will provide these facilities with the flexibility needed to ensure they have the manpower to continue to provide quality care and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Officials say the rule will help with staffing shortages at health care providers that are required to employ certified nurse aides, medication aides and technicians and feeding assistants.

“Now, more than ever, our facilities need support and flexibility as they work to field a staff of qualified and compassionate skilled nursing professionals that can enter this challenging environment and succeed,” said Steven Buck, President and CEO of Care Providers Oklahoma. “Governor Stitt and Commissioner Cox have our thanks for supporting our facilities during this crisis and helping to ensure our residents get the professional care they need and deserve.”

The emergency rule, which is effective immediately, identifies procedures for facilities to document that a licensed health care professional has verified the new employee demonstrated competency in a skill prior to assignment.

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