Delaware Vote Tracker

National Guard Nurse Bill Passes Senate

House Bill 280 passed by the Senate last week after passing the House, and it has already been signed by Governor Carney. Both chambers passed it unanimously. The bill provides discretion to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services in certificating nursing assistants so that the rapid certification of National Guard members as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) can be facilitated to deal with staffing shortages at our local hospitals.

Through a revision to his standing State of Emergency declaration, Governor Carney this month reduced the hours of clinical training required for nursing assistant certification to help facilitate the rapid deployment of 70 National Guard members who are assisting with non-clinical operations inside skilled nursing facilities during the winter surge. 

Modeled after a Minnesota initiative, HB 280 would leave the hours of classroom and clinical training required for nursing assistant certification permanently at the discretion of the DHSS Secretary as long as nursing assistants hired to work in skilled care, intermediate care or assisted living facilities undergo an orientation period that includes clinical hours. 

House Bill 280 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Bentz, Longhurst, Carson, Dorsey Walker, Minor-Brown, Schwartzkopf, Baumbach, Brady, Griffith, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Lambert, Morrison, Osienski, D.Short, Briggs King, Gray, M.SmithHouses Passed 41-0. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton  Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick
Sokola, S. McBride, Townsend, Ennis, Gay, Hansen, Lockman, Mantazavinos, Paradee, Hocker, PettyjohnSenate Passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson
Current Status: Signed by Governor Carney.

Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola: “While we have been careful to avoid legislating permanent solutions to temporary problems throughout this ever-changing pandemic, there are lessons we have learned over the last two years that will help lift up our state moving forward. By granting greater discretion to DHSS in how certified nursing assistants are trained, we can quickly send reinforcements to our already overworked medical professionals and better address staffing shortages during public health emergencies in the future.” 

Rep. David Bentz: “This legislation, which I sponsored with Sen. Dave Sokola, will permanently leave the hours of classroom and clinical training required for nursing assistants at the discretion of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). This action coincides with the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration to reduce the hours of clinical training required for nursing assistant certification, which has helped facilitate the rapid deployment of National Guard members in skilled nursing facilities. With these actions, we can more quickly meet Delaware’s challenging healthcare demands due to the COVID pandemic and better address healthcare staffing shortages in the future.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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