Nurse aides—also called nursing assistants—are trained, certified staff who help nurses and doctors in long-term care facilities and nursing homes, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Before a nurse aide can receive an offer for employment in a Minnesota nursing facility, the employer must verify the nurse aide’s certification and employment status. Employers can verify nurse aide certification through the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry, a directory maintained by the state department of health.
Ask the nurse aide for a copy of her certificate. Nurse aides who have completed an approved nursing assistant training program and passed the certification exam receive a date-stamped certificate from the Minnesota Department of Health. A copy of the certificate with the employment application will prove that the nurse aide completed the appropriate training and passed the exam.
Contact the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry. The only resource you can use to verify Minnesota nurse aide certification is the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry, maintained by the Minnesota Department of Health. You can verify certification with registry staff over the telephone (651-215-8705 or 1-800-397-6124), by email (health.FPC-NAR@state.mn.us) or by mail through the Department of Health’s Compliance Monitoring Division. Note that the registry’s office hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central Time.
Check on certification and employment status. In addition to checking that a nurse aide has indeed maintained an active certification on the registry, be sure to ask registry staff about employment status as well. Applicants who have not worked as a nursing assistant at least eight hours in the past two years fall to inactive status on the registry; even though the nurse aide may have verifiable certification, he should not work in a Minnesota facility until he has received refresher training. The Minnesota Department of Health notes that the results of the verification should not be a barrier to employment, since potential employers can hire a nurse aide on inactive status and train him before he begins caring for patients.