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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 05/26/2022

Virginia Nursing Care: Rules & Regs

Virginia Nursing Care: Rules & Regs

In addition to the federal laws that apply to all skilled nursing facilities, Virginia has specific laws and regulations for nursing homes. 

According to law, nursing facilities are responsible for preventing a patient’s condition and abilities from diminishing. To uphold this commitment, periodic patient assessments are necessary. All licensed nursing facilities must conduct and complete a comprehensive assessment of each resident within 14 days of admission. A significant change in the resident’s condition requires additional assessments and care plan changes. 

The medical and functional portions of the resident assessment form the foundation for each resident’s care plan. Every resident of a nursing home in Virginia must have a care plan. A physician must write all orders for the resident’s care including orders for medications and treatments. The facility’s administrator or designated supervisor must review and approve all care plan changes before they can be instituted. 

Nursing facilities never close. Service is continuous and a licensed nursing staff must always be present. Nursing facilities must also have a licensed administrator, physician medical director, director of nursing services, and nurses trained to deliver skilled nursing care on staff. To be licensed in Virginia, a nursing facility must have a Registered Nurse on duty for at least one eight-hour shift every day, seven days a week. 

Licensed nursing care must be provided by a Licensed Practical Nurse, a Registered Nurse, a Clinical Nurse Specialist, or a Registered Nurse Practitioner. Basic services are often provided by Certified Nursing Aids (CNAs). In Virginia, CNAs must complete a certified 120-hour training program, pass a competency test within four months of being hired to work in a licensed nursing facility, and be registered with the Virginia Nurse Aide Registry. CNAs may provide assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) including bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting. 

For more information on nursing care requirements in Virginia, please visit vhi.org. 

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