There can be several reasons why you may be listed as ineligible on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry. It is possible that your last or current employer failed to report your employment. In Iowa, only nursing facilities, skilled nursing facilities and long term care units in hospitals are required to report CNA employment. This reporting requirement keeps CNAs in active status on the registry but if you work as a CNA in another type of health care facility you might not have your employment reported.
Qualifying employment is the only way to remain eligible on the registry which means you must work as a CNA at certified long term care facilities such as nursing homes, skilled care facilities and skilled or swing bed units in a hospital, for at least one 8 hour shift within a 24 month period. LTC facilities are the only ones mandated by state and federal law to verify eligibility and report qualifying employment to the registry.
Assisted living programs, home health agencies, intermediate and residential care facilities, hospices, and other employers are not required by state and federal law to verify eligibility or report employment. In these other settings, CNAs may perform non-nursing related duties such as housekeeping, dietary, laundry, or recreation activities, travel time from client to client, or taking clients to activities or appointments. These do not meet the federal requirements and even though a CNA may perform some qualifying work, if the other duties are performed as well during the 8 consecutive hours reporting period it will disqualify the employment. In addition, education or volunteer work will not maintain a CNA in active status on the registry.
If no qualifying employment is reported in over twenty-four months, your status automatically switches to ineligible. To become active again, you need to have your qualifying employment reported by the employer otherwise you need to challenge and pass both the written and skills competency examinations. In Iowa, CNAs are not required to take the CNA course to challenge the exams. After thirty months of no reported employment, your name is deleted from the registry. If you have qualifying employment that you believe could reinstate your active status then you should contact the registry at 515-281-4077.
CNAs are not licensed but certified based on successful completion of written and skills testing and the fact that you are listed as inactive or not even on the registry does not mean you are no longer a CNA. Furthermore, you are only required to be on the Iowa registry if you are seeking employment in a long term care facility such as a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or a skilled or swing bed unit of a hospital.