Assembly Approves Rooney Bill Expanding Pool of Certified Nurse Aides

TRENTON, N.J. – A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney allowing prior work experience to be considered for out-of-state certified nurse aides who want to practice in New Jersey was approved today by the Assembly.

The legislation (A2442) codifies state Health Department regulations providing reciprocity for CNAs while also considering work experience.

“Programs from other states only retain student records for a limited time, making it difficult for some aides to transfer their certifications to New Jersey. Their on-the-job experience is invaluable and needs to be part of the equation,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “Making it easier for employers to find qualified employees while maintaining state standards will help ease the shortage of nurse aides and ensure quality patient care.”

Applicants seeking a position based on their work history must have two years of experience and pass a clinical skills test along with written and oral competency tests.

The New Jersey Hospital Association noted a shortage of workers saying there are about 1,800 available part-time and full-time positions during a committee hearing on a bill setting minimum staffing standards for certified nursing assistants.

Nurse aides provide vital assistance topatients with healthcare needs, including feeding, dressing and bathing, under the supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.

The bill was unanimously advanced by the Assembly Appropriations and Senate Health committees. 

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