Certificate Defense for Minnesota Certified Nursing Assistants

In hospitals, nursing homes, boarding care homes, and other healthcare facilities across Minnesota, nursing assistants perform many of the vital tasks of day-to-day patient care. These health care professionals—also called certified nursing assistants (CNAs)—are held to high professional standards, and Minnesota maintains a Nursing Assistant Registry (NAR) that tracks all nursing assistants working in the state, in line with federal regulations, Title 42 483.156 (a). The NAR is maintained by the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC), which has oversight over complaints against healthcare facilities and some workers in those facilities—including nursing assistants.

If you work as a nursing aide, you know that keeping your registration current is necessary for getting a job at a facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid (which is the vast majority of nursing homes and other healthcare facilities). However, your nursing assistant registration can be revoked if you are found to have committed some kind of misconduct. If you're facing an investigation of your conduct as a CNA by Minnesota's Office of Health Facility Complaints, it can be incredibly frightening. Don't try to handle this situation on your own. Contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team today to discuss your case with an experienced staff member who can help you determine a plan for defending your nursing assistant registration. You can reach us online or by calling (888) 535-3686.

Valuing Your Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registration

In order to be listed on the Minnesota NAR, under Minnesota's 2022 statutes, 144A.61, you must complete an accredited training program, including at least 16 hours of clinical practice. You must also pass two important tests: the Nursing Assistant Knowledge test and the Nursing Assistant Skills test. If you pass these tests, you can apply to be listed on the NAR, which will allow you to work as a CNA in Minnesota. The NAR lists your name, CNA certificate number, the date you registered as a CNA, the date your registration expired (or is set to expire), and a summary of any findings of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property against you.

Becoming a CNA is no easy task, and it involves a lot of study and effort. Your registration as a CNA represents a lot of hard work and determination, and maintaining your registration is vital to maintaining a career as a nursing assistant and keeping your reputation as a skilled professional.

If you have worked as a CNA in another state and your registration is still valid in that state, you can apply online to transfer your registration to Minnesota as well. Your registration in the other state should be current and in good standing in order for Minnesota to allow you to work as a CNA in this state.

Your registration as a nursing assistant is vital to your healthcare career. But an investigation by the OHFC could put it in jeopardy. If you are facing an investigation from OHFC, your CNA registration—and, as a result, your career—could be in danger. Don't underestimate the value of your nursing assistant registration and your career as a CNA. Call the Lento Law Firm today and take action to defend yourself in the OHFC's proceedings.

The Minnesota Agency with Authority over Nursing Assistants

Under federal regulations, each state must designate an agency to maintain a registry of nursing assistants. This registry must track information about reports of certain types of misconduct, and the state agency must show that it has investigated reports of misconduct by nursing aides' as needed. In Minnesota, this responsibility falls to the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC). The OHFC investigates a variety of complaints related to nursing homes, boarding care homes, and similar healthcare facilities.

The OHFC takes the welfare of Minnesotans in nursing homes and boarding care facilities very seriously, and the agency has the time and resources to thoroughly investigate reports of potential misconduct by nursing assistants throughout the state. This allows them to take swift action against any CNAs who may have acted in a way that violates standards of professional conduct. The OHFC is dedicated to taking action against nursing assistants who do not meet these expected professional standards of conduct, and they have ample state resources to accomplish this. To fight against accusations from the OHFC, you need to assemble a team of your own. If you are facing accusations of misconduct that endanger your CNA certificate, you need a dedicated professional license defense attorney on your side to even the playing field and help you speak up to tell your side of the story truthfully, strategically, and effectively.

Conduct that Can Jeopardize Your Nursing Assistant Registration in Minnesota

According to federal regulations, Title 42 483.156(c)(iv), the OHFC has a responsibility to investigate reports of the following types of conduct by nursing assistants:

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Misappropriation of patient property

These are the types of conduct that can result in a CNA losing their registration—and their ability to work as a nursing assistant in Minnesota. Let's look at each of these types of conduct in a bit more detail:

  • Abuse can take many forms, including physical actions like hitting or kicking, yelling, threatening, or forcing someone to participate in or watch sexual activity without consent.
  • Neglect refers to withholding care in a way that hurts a patient, such as not giving them food or water, leaving them alone for too long, or not giving them medical care or medication as needed.
  • Misappropriation of patient property happens when someone intentionally misplaces, exploits, takes, or uses—whether temporarily or permanently—a patient's belongings or money.

These are the three types of misconduct that can threaten your CNA registration. CNAs owe a duty of care to their patients to care for them and provide adequate medical care, and these behaviors are not at all in line with that commitment. However, the reality of the situation may not always be black and white. Caring for patients—especially if they are experiencing severe pain or having mental difficulties that make it hard for them to understand what is going on around them—is never easy or simple. As a nursing assistant, you make complex decisions as quickly as possible about what is best for your patients, and the reason or rationale for your actions might not be immediately clear to observers. Patients and their family members can misinterpret caregivers' actions and think that abuse or neglect has happened at times when that is not really true. This can lead to accusations against a nursing assistant—and an investigation by the OHFC,

Keep in mind that anyone can make a report of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property—including patients, patients' family members, other healthcare workers, or facility management, among others. Reports can even be made anonymously. In an effort to protect patients' safety, the OHFC takes all of these reports seriously and looks into all of them. However, this leaves many nursing assistants needing to defend themselves from accusations of wrongdoing. If you find yourself in this situation, don't hesitate—contact the Lento Law Firm today online or by calling (888) 535-3686 to schedule a consultation with an experienced professional license defense attorney who can help you strategize your defense.

How the OHFC Investigates Reports

Once OHFC receives a report that a nursing assistant has abused or neglected a patient or misappropriated patient property, they will begin the process of looking into the issue to determine if an investigation is necessary.

The OHFC begins by reviewing all complaints that it receives in order to make an initial determination of whether to investigate. They will prioritize complaints based on how likely it is that harm will take place or if harm has already taken place, and this may affect how quickly an investigation begins if the office is moving forward with an investigation. After making this initial determination, the OHFC will notify the person who made the report as to whether or not they are moving forward with an investigation. In many cases, a representative from the OHFC will start the actual investigation by making a visit to the facility where the incident allegedly happened, where they may interview relevant witnesses or people with knowledge about the alleged issue or look at the documentation to gather evidence. They may also request other documentation or information, as needed, to determine what took place.

After they review the available information about the situation, the OHFC will decide whether the events indicate that the nursing assistant has acted in a way that constitutes abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property—in other words, whether there are grounds to revoke their nursing assistant registration. The office will issue a narrative report that explains their findings and whether or not they will be moving forward with disciplinary action against the nursing assistant.

If you are being investigated as a nursing assistant, you do have the ability to seek legal assistance during the process. The OHFC may not make this right clear to you, but that does not make it any less true. You are allowed to have assistance from a lawyer to help you respond to the investigation, prepare a statement, interview witnesses, or take any other actions as needed to defend yourself. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team has years of experience in helping professionals like you defend their license or certification, and they can work with you to develop a strong defense for your situation that can protect your livelihood and your reputation. Contact us today to talk through your situation.

When an Investigation Jeopardizes Your CNA Career

If you are the target of an investigation by the OHFC, you need to take it seriously. It could tarnish your reputation and make it impossible for you to work as a CNA in Minnesota. If the OHFC finds evidence that you have abused a patient or misappropriated patient property, it will add these negative findings to the nursing assistant registry (NAR), where they will be permanently publicly available. The agency will revoke your registration, and you will no longer be able to work as a CNA. However, keep in mind that this information will still be publicly available, so if anyone searches for your name, even if you no longer work as a CNA, they will find this information. This can be damaging to your reputation and perhaps even future job prospects. Keep this in mind if you are being investigated for your conduct as a CNA: the stakes may be higher than your current job, reaching into your future employment and reputation. Take these accusations seriously and contact the Lento Law Firm immediately to get the legal help you need in order to defend yourself. Call us at (888) 535-3686 or contact us online today.

Consequences for Findings of Neglect Against a Minnesota CNA

Findings of neglect are treated a bit differently than findings of abuse or misappropriation of property under federal regulations. If you are found to have committed neglect, and this information is entered into your listing on the NAR, it may not be the end of your career as a CNA in Minnesota. You can appeal to have the finding removed from your NAR record, but you will have to wait a year from the date the finding is entered on the NAR. After that point, you can file a petition with the OHFC to have the finding of neglect removed from the NAR, which will allow you to work at certified nursing facilities again. In other words, you can resume your career as a CNA if this finding is removed. Taking this action is vital to defending your career as a CNA and your reputation. If you have findings of neglect, contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense team to formulate a plan to get your name cleared on the NAR.

Why are findings of neglect subject to different rules than other misconduct? It's due to some important real-world facts that regulators have chosen to take into account. One, depending on the facts of the situation, neglect may not be an intentional act meant to harm someone—it can be an honest mistake that leads to harm or injury. It may not always result from the intent to hurt a patient. It could have been the result of an honest error or a combination of bad circumstances. The OHFC recognizes this, and that's why they give nursing assistants with neglect findings the opportunity to appeal the findings. Also, the OHFC knows that CNAs are vital to patient care in nursing homes and other care environments, and they want to give nursing assistants a chance to return to work in order to ensure that all patients are adequately cared for whenever possible. Because of these important factors, the OHFC will consider letting CNAs with a single finding of neglect return to work in a healthcare environment once a year has passed.

Having a lawyer on your side to help with this appeal could make a big difference in whether you will be allowed to return to work as a CNA. Don't try to handle the important process of appealing CNA neglect findings on your own. Call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online to speak to an experienced, skilled professional license defense attorney today.

How a Professional License Defense Attorney Can Help

The OHFC's investigation process is an administrative, legal process, which is incredibly foreign to most people. Many people are familiar with criminal legal processes from TV shows, and some might even know a bit about civil legal processes—but administrative hearings are different. They are much less common in big cases that get media attention, so they are more mysterious to most people.

However, if you are accused of misconduct as a nursing assistant, you don't have time to do research to familiarize yourself with administrative law. You need to hit the ground running, so to speak, and take action to protect your nursing assistant registration. An experienced professional license defense attorney from the Lento Law Firm Team can help you do that. Our attorneys are very familiar with administrative law and how to navigate an administrative hearing. They can help you defend yourself, whether in a written statement or verbally, in a way that will tell your side of the story and present facts that support your version of what happened. They can also help you interview witnesses as needed, file paperwork, and handle other procedural aspects of the case. A professional license defense attorney can make the difference between keeping your registration as a nursing assistant or losing it, which can have a monumental effect on your life and the life of your family.

Working with a professional license defense attorney is a powerful way to gain peace of mind for yourself during this stressful process. Our attorneys know how to handle an administrative law process and can help you determine the best course of action to take if you are facing an OHFC investigation as a nursing assistant. Our experienced attorneys can help you present a strong case so that you have the best chance of retaining your registration as a nursing assistant.

Who the Lento Law Firm Can Help

The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team can help nursing assistants facing allegations that threaten their certification throughout the state of Minnesota. Whether you work in a city such as Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, Moorhead, Mankato, or a more rural part of the state, we can help you defend yourself if you are facing an OHFC investigation and your CNA registration is in danger.

We work with CNAs who are employed in a variety of nursing homes and healthcare settings. That includes large nursing homes such as Minnesota Masonic Home Care Center, Catholic Eldercare, Lyngblomsten Senior Care Center, The Good Shepherd Community, Country Manor Health & Rehabilitation Center, Augustana Health Care Center of Apple Valley, Jones Harrison Residence, St. Benedict's Senior Community, and many other similar facilities. However, we can also represent and assist CNAs who work at smaller nursing home facilities like Ecumen Lakeshore (and other Ecumen facilities), Good Samaritan Society Howard Lake (and other locations), Rochester Health Services West, and any other nursing home or care facility throughout Minnesota. We represent CNAs who live or work in the Twin Cities area, as well as CNAs in Duluth, Northern Minnesota (including the North Woods), the Minnesota River Valley, Central Minnesota, or any other part of the state.

No matter where you are located in Minnesota, your career as a CNA is important to your life and your financial security, and you deserve legal assistance if you are facing an investigation that jeopardizes your CNA registration. You should take steps to protect it when it is in danger. Talk to the Lento Law Firm if your CNA registration is in danger due to an investigation of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of patient property.

Get Legal Help Today to Defend Your Nursing Assistant Registration

For Minnesota nursing assistants, maintaining registration on the Nursing Assistant Registry is key to continuing to work in your career. However, accusations of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of patient property could put your registration in danger, along with your reputation. If you're being investigated by the OHFC because of an accusation of professional misconduct, don't try to handle this difficult situation on your own. Reach out to the professional license defense attorneys at the Lento Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you figure out the best way to defend your registration and your career as a CNA during the OHFC's administrative and legal processes. You can count on our attorneys to be strategic partners during this complex process and help you make decisions about the best way to defend yourself, present information, and interview witnesses. Having this type of advocate by your side during such a challenging time can truly make all the difference—not only in your confidence but potentially in the outcome as well. To speak to one of our attorneys about your case, call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online today. We can help you defend yourself and find the right path forward if you have been accused of misconduct as a CNA in Minnesota.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
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