ICYMI: NHA Examining Board Holds First Meeting of 2022

On Thursday, March 17, the Wisconsin Nursing Home Administrator Examining Board held its first scheduled meeting of 2022.

Due to board member availability and an expected loss of quorum about 45 minutes after the meeting start, the Board opted to forego most of the public agenda in order to move to closed session to discuss confidential licensure issues, including licensure/certification of applicants, disciplinary investigations with administrative warnings, to review disciplinary data, and to confer with legal counsel.

Prior to closed session, the Board asked for public comment. WHCA/WiCAL Director of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Jim Stoa offered public comment related to the need for the Board to pre-approve and publish specialized courses for NHA candidates. Stoa encouraged the Board to take immediate action to approve online specialized courses for interested NHA candidates.

Stoa emphasized that WHCA/WiCAL is regularly hearing from member facilities who have interested candidates to pursue an NHA, but are very reluctant to pursue an NHA via a specialized course because the NHA Examining Board has not been publishing a list of pre-approved specialized courses. Many of these courses are a significant time commitment and financial commitment, and so without pre-approval by the Board, candidates are often not able to take the risk of paying for and committing a lot of time to a course if the board may not accept it after the program is complete.

Stoa noted that WHCA has been asking the state’s Department of Safety and Professional Services, the regulatory agency which handles professional licensure including NHA licensure, to work to pre-approve more specialized courses and publish them on the website for the better part of a year now.

DHS reported in mid-February that there have already been 34 instances of NHA turnover in the first 6 weeks of the year – which really demonstrates the need to approve more specialized courses and help more people get into the field.

After public comment, DSPS staff member Tom Ryan said that the Board is aware of this need and will work to address it.

The Board then convened in closed session. During open session, the Board also elected new leadership, including:

  • Chair – David Larson, NHA member
  • Vice Chair – Diane Lynch-DeCombhs, NHA member
  • Secretary – Echo Bristol, NHA member
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