Just For RNs: Boost Your Geriatric Care Competency

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Gero Nurse Prep course significantly increases RNs’ gerontological nursing competency test scores. Further, research conducted by AHCA/NCAL in 2023 found compelling reasons to consider the Gero Nurse Prep course and ANCC Board certification for RNs. Nursing facilities with at least one ANCC Board certified RN experienced:

  • Lower rehospitalization rates for short stay and long stay residents
  • Fewer deficiencies on average
  • Fewer Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations
  • More stars — twice as likely to be a CMS 5-Star facility (44% versus 19%)
Specifically designed for registered nurses working in long term care, this curriculum provides comprehensive online training that leads to board certification in gerontological nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for RNs.
Gero Nurse Prep also makes a big difference even for those RNs who are not interested in pursuing ANCC Board certification. Nurses who complete Gero Nurse Prep show an average 24 percent increase between their pre- and post-course test scores. Quite simply, Gero Nurse Prep delivers smarter RNs who are better prepared to deliver competent geriatric nursing care in skilled nursing and assisted living settings. Both two-year RNs and BSNs can take the Gero Nurse Prep course and sit for the ANCC exam.
RNs have one year to complete Gero Nurse Prep and earn 30 quality nursing contact hours – enough to meet the criteria for taking the ANCC certification exam. Gero Nurse Prep grads who choose to sit for the ANCC gerontological nursing certification exam ($395 separate fee paid to ANCC) have a pass rate of 94% on their first try. RNs who pass the ANCC exam can then use the GERO-BC™ credential after their RN credential.
Watch this video or visit the website at geronurseprep.com to learn more about this online program designed to help RNs increase their geriatric nursing skills and to pass the ANCC exam. Remember to use the AHCAPAYLESS promo code when you register to save $100 off the regular $790 Gero Nurse Prep registration fee.

March is Careers in Aging Month!

In the past, AHCA/NCAL and providers across the country have celebrated Careers in Aging Week to bring recognition to the numerous career opportunities available in long term care and aging services and to celebrate current caregivers in the industry. In 2024, we are extending the celebration and the month of March will now be dedicated to Careers in Aging Month! Join us in promoting these rewarding careers for the month-long observation!

Learn more by going to https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Save-the-Date-for-Careers-in-Aging-MONTH-.aspx

Maintaining Your Respiratory Protection Program in LTC Centers: Actions and Frequencies

Long term care (LTC) centers must adhere to specific requirements for compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). The nature of airborne hazards, the presence of respiratory threats, the specific respiratory protection program, and the resulting compliance requirements will vary between organizations. Employers must recognize that once a Respiratory Protection Program (RPP) is established, ongoing maintenance is necessary to ensure compliance with the OSHA standard.


Navigating “Safety” in Long Term Care Centers: Separating the Roles of OSHA and the CMS requirements for Emergency Preparedness


In this third article regarding the connection between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Life Safety and Emergency Preparedness (EP) Requirements, the focus will be on how OSHA’s regulations overlap with CMS’ EP requirements, found in 42 CFR 483.73 (Appendix Z).
It’s important to note that CMS’ EP requirements do NOT apply to assisted living, however any OSHA requirements do apply.

A Roadmap to OSHA Requirements = A Vital Guide for Long Term Care Providers

Understanding and adhering to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards is a critical responsibility for long term care providers. To assist in this crucial task, AHCA/NCAL has released “A Roadmap to OSHA Requirements,” a comprehensive resource designed to simplify OSHA​regulations for providers.​

This roadmap is a practical guide, offering detailed insights into relevant OSHA standards and how they intersect with CDC guidelines and CMS requirements. The roadmap doesn’t just cover existing regulations; it also provides previews of upcoming OSHA changes that could impact long term care. This preview is essential for staying abreast of future regulatory requirements and maintaining a safe environment for your staff.

AHCA/NCAL’s roadmap is an invaluable tool for long term care providers seeking to navigate the complexities of OSHA compliance. It also underscores the long term care communities commitment to maintaining high standards of workplace safety and health.

Explore “A Roadmap to OSHA Requirements” to enhance your organization’s compliance and safety practices. Access this vital resource on the AHCA/NCAL website: A Roadmap to OSHA Requirements.​


Navigate the Ongoing Challenges of COVID-19 with #GetVaccinated Resources

A common misperception that exists is that COVID-19 is no longer a serious virus, and some may even believe that it’s less serious than influenza. While the rates of serious illness, hospitalizations, and death from COVID-19 are significantly lower than during the height of the pandemic in early 2020 and 2021, recent data indicates that COVID-19 remains more serious than influenza.

Now more than ever, we need all members to build a resilient defense against the ongoing threat of respiratory viruses, especially COVID-19.

Download and share the latest information to encourage vaccinations in AHCA/NCAL’s #GetVaccinated toolkit at getvaccinated.us/.


  • Reimbursement Guide: Frequently asked questions on vaccine payment options.
  • Template Letters: Tailored for the organization’s Medical Director to residents and staff.
  • Talking Points: To assist with vaccination conversations.

Explore other resources at getvaccinated.us/.

Respiratory Protection in Long Term Care

Most long term care (LTC) centers had no need for respirators before the pandemic because any patients with airborne infectious diseases were transferred and cared for in appropriate and capable alternate facilities. Moving forward, however, respirators and the compliance obligations that come with them are now part of the expected infection control and employee safety programs in most LTC centers. Importantly, OSHA has an entire standard devoted to respirators, the Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). While the OSHA standard can be complicated and is highly dependent on the type of hazard and respirator used, the following highlights the basic requirements that affect most LTC centers.

Read more at https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Respiratory-Protection-in-Long-Term-Care.aspx

Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Assessment Standard, and the Hierarchy of Controls

The Hierarchy of Controls
When conducting a hazard assessment to determine PPE, it is important to understand that PPE is only one control measure. In fact, PPE is the last safety measure to consider as you see in the illustration below. In long term care, we use a mix of measures to minimize occupational hazards. In OSHA’s vocabulary, this mix is known as the “hierarchy of controls,”  which consists of FIVE levels: elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The most effective measures are at the top of the hierarchy, with elimination and substitution being the preferred methods. These involve removing the hazard entirely or replacing it with something less hazardous. Engineering controls come next, focusing on designing and isolating hazards. Examples of such controls in LTC might be negative pressure rooms or barrier walls for protection against airborne infectious agents. Administrative controls involve changing work practices and policies, including infection control procedures and hand-washing protocols.

New Year – New Beginnings!

Is 2024 the year you’ve decided to become ANCC board certified?  If so, take the proven path to preparing for the gerontological board certification exam – AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep!

Find out more at https://www.geronurseprep.com/