Nebraska Revised Statute 71-6018.01

Chapter 71 Section 6018.01

71-6018.01.

Nursing facility; nursing requirements; waiver; procedure.

(1) Unless a waiver is granted pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, a nursing facility shall use the services of (a) a licensed registered nurse for at least eight consecutive hours per day, seven days per week and (b) a licensed registered nurse or licensed practical nurse on a twenty-four-hour basis seven days per week. Except when waived under subsection (2) of this section, a nursing facility shall designate a licensed registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to serve as a charge nurse on each tour of duty. The Director of Nursing Services shall be a licensed registered nurse, and this requirement shall not be waived. The Director of Nursing Services may serve as a charge nurse only when the nursing facility has an average daily occupancy of sixty or fewer residents.

(2) The department may waive either the requirement that a nursing facility or long-term care hospital certified under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, use the services of a licensed registered nurse for at least eight consecutive hours per day, seven days per week, or the requirement that a nursing facility or long-term care hospital certified under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, use the services of a licensed registered nurse or licensed practical nurse on a twenty-four-hour basis seven days per week, including the requirement for a charge nurse on each tour of duty, if:

(a)(i) The facility or hospital demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that it has been unable, despite diligent efforts, including offering wages at the community prevailing rate for the facilities or hospitals, to recruit appropriate personnel;

(ii) The department determines that a waiver of the requirement will not endanger the health or safety of individuals staying in the facility or hospital; and

(iii) The department finds that, for any periods in which licensed nursing services are not available, a licensed registered nurse or physician is obligated to respond immediately to telephone calls from the facility or hospital; or

(b) The department has been granted any waiver by the federal government of staffing standards for certification under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, and the requirements of subdivisions (a)(ii) and (iii) of this subsection have been met.

(3) The department shall apply for such a waiver from the federal government to carry out subdivision (1)(b) of this section.

(4) A waiver granted under this section shall be subject to annual review by the department. As a condition of granting or renewing a waiver, a facility or hospital may be required to employ other qualified licensed personnel. The department may grant a waiver under this section if it determines that the waiver will not cause the State of Nebraska to fail to comply with any of the applicable requirements of medicaid so as to make the state ineligible for the receipt of all funds to which it might otherwise be entitled.

(5) The department shall provide notice of the granting of a waiver to the office of the state long-term care ombudsman and to the Nebraska Advocacy Services or any successor designated for the protection of and advocacy for persons with mental illness or an intellectual disability. A nursing facility granted a waiver shall provide written notification to each resident of the facility or, if appropriate, to the guardian, legal representative, or immediate family of the resident.