Harmony Healthcare Blog

Competency Assessment for Nursing Homes

Posted by Pam Duchene on Thu, Feb 21, 2019

Edited by Kris Mastrangelo


Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory/Rehab • Education/Efficiency

Qualified Concept. Colored Document Folders Sorted for Catalog. Closeup View. Selective Focus. 3D Render.According to William Glasser, 

“No human being will work hard at anything unless they believe that they are working for competence.”

This is particularly true with healthcare.  Nurses and staff in long term care work to make a difference in the lives of those entrusted into their care.  While nursing in skilled care may not be packed with the adrenaline rush of the emergency department, it is filled with adventure and activity and an opportunity to deliver person-centered, compassionate care to those in need. 

Competency, however, cannot be assumed, but should be verified through competency assessment.  This is a key portion of the Facility Assessment as required in the revised Requirements of Participation.  The organization’s Facility Assessment should detail the staff competencies necessary for safe and effective care.  For many organizations, the competency assessment has been completed through a listing of skill check-offs or return demonstrations.  This type of system may miss core aspects of competency assessment.  

The Nurse of the Future project identifies 10 Core Competencies for Nurses:  

  1. Patient-Centered Care
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication
  4. Professionalism
  5. Systems-Based Practice
  6. Teamwork and Collaboration
  7. Informatics and Technology
  8. Safety
  9. Quality Improvement
  10. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) 

Each of these competencies includes a review of essential knowledge, attitudes and skills (KAS).  

CMS has recently introduced a competency assessment to help nursing home organizations identify where they are doing well and where they may need additional education or support.  

The CMS Competency Assessment Toolkit was developed with funding from the Civil Money Penalty Repayment Program (CMPRP).  The program is available on-line and at no cost to organizations.  It was developed based on the Nurse of the Future project and is inclusive of the assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes and Skills.  

Three competency assessments are available through the CMS CMPRP Program: 

  1. Leadership
  2. Nursing
  3. Nursing Assistants 

The program provides options of online or paper testing, and a guide to structure the review of results in an aggregate form in addition to individualized.  The competency assessment is not to be used in a punitive manner and licensure survey teams cannot request the results.  

The complete CMS Competency Assessment Toolkit can be accessed by clicking below:  
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This is a nice illustration of using funds collected from organizations with concerns to invest in improvement for all nursing facilities.  Kudos to CMS for investing in care improvement and helping organizations to grow!  

Looking for more information on competencies? You can contact us by clicking here.  Looking to train your staff?  Join us in person at one of our our upcoming Competency/Certification Courses.  Click here to see the dates and locations. 



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Tags: Core Competencies

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