Testing COVID-19

COVID-19 Testing Competency Checklist

Nurse Competency Checklist for COVID-19 Testing



Name:______________________________ Title: ___________________________ Hire Date:_______________


Skill Area


(Check One)

Method of Evaluation

(Check One)

D = Skills Demonstration

O = Performance Observation

W = Written Test

V = Verbal Test








Needs Additional Training







Policies and Procedures

Locate written infection control policies and procedures.









Verbalizes policy for

·       Specimen Collection for COVID-19 testing

·      Point of Care Antigen Testing









Describes facility policy on immediate mitigation actions with positive results









Hand Hygiene

Demonstrates hand washing with soap and water









Demonstrate hand hygiene using alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR).









Personal Protective Equipment




Demonstrate donning and removal (in the correct sequence) of

·       Gown

·       N95 Respirator

·       Goggles or face shield

·       Gloves

·       Who to contact if additional PPE is needed









Describes facility protocol for reuse and/or extended use of PPE









Identify location and proper storage of Personal Protective Equipment









(Insert any State specific PPE guidance)









Standard Precautions

(All Departments)

(Nurses)State how the facility identifies residents to be placed in transmission-based precautions (i.e., contact, droplet, airborne-if equipped in facility)









Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette

(All Departments)

Demonstrate cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene









Environmental Cleaning

·      Housekeeping

·      Nursing

Housekeeping Staff:


·       Demonstrates cleaning and disinfection of room used for testing










Demonstrate cleaning/disinfection of:

·       Testing equipment consistent with manufacturer’s recommendations and product instructions









ALL Staff

Able to identify proper use and follow label directions for each disinfectant used by employee in the facility

(EPA List N disinfectant)









Specimen Collection-Nasopharyngeal Swab (NP)

·       Gathers supplies

o   PPE

o   Sterile synthetic fiber swabs with plastic or wire shafts unless swab provided in POC testing is required for test

o   Sterile transport tube

·       Performs Hand Hygiene

·       Dons PPE in correct sequence

·       Close room door

·       Grasps swab by the end of the handle

·       Inserts swab into nostril parallel to palate until resistance is reached

·       Rolls swab gently and leaves swab in place for several seconds to absorb secretions

·       Removes swab slowly while rotating

·       If resident presents with a deviated septum or blockage, use same swab to obtain specimen from the other nostril

·       Promptly tests specimen using point of care antigen test device following manufacturer’s recommendations or places swab into sterile tube with viral transport medium for lab testing

·       If specimen is sent to offsite lab, nurse follows proper labeling and storage policy

·       Cleaning and disinfection according to policy and procedure:

o   Machine in accordance with the manufacturers directions

o   Surfaces

o   Room

·       Doffs PPE in accordance with facility procedure

·       Performs Hand Hygiene

·       Documentation of results per facility procedure

·       Reports positive testing immediately for proper mitigation efforts









Anterior Nasal Swab Specimen Collection

·       Gathers supplies

·       Dons PPE in correct sequence

·       Closes room door

·       Using a sterile flocked or spun polyester swab, insert the entire absorbent tip of the swab (usually ½ to ¾ of an inch inside the nostril and firmly sample the nasal wall by rotating the swab in a circular path against the nasal wall at least 4 times. This should take approximately 15 seconds to collect the sample. Be sure to collect any nasal drainage that may be present on the swab

·       Samples both nostrils with the same swab

·       Completes antigen test promptly following manufacturer’s recommendations

·       Cleaning and disinfection according to policy and procedure:

o   Machine in accordance with manufacture’s instructions

o   Surfaces

o   Room

·       Doffs PPE in accordance with facility procedure

·       Performs Hand Hygiene

·       Documentation of results per facility procedure

·       Reports positive testing immediately for proper mitigation efforts










·       Demonstrates POC testing quality control and instrument calibration in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions

·       Describes actions if calibration fails prior to use with another resident specimen









Other (Describe)











Other (Describe)
















References and Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens for COVID-19, Updated Dec. 21, 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information for Healthcare Providers about Coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated Dec. 28, 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/index.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing. Updated Dec. 26, 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/point-of-care-testing.html


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. QSO-20-38-NH. August 26, 2020: Interim Final Rule (IFC), CMS-3401-IFC, Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency related to Long-Term Care (LTC) Facility Testing Requirements and Revised COVID19 Focused Survey Tool: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-38-nh.pdf


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Testing at Skilled Nursing Facilities/Nursing Homes: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-faqs-snf-testing.pdf


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS Updates COVID-19 Testing Methodology for Nursing Homes, Sept. 29, 2020: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-updates-covid-19-testing-methodology-nursing-homes

Quidel. Sofia SARS Antigen FIA Resources: https://www.quidel.com/node/8736

BD Veritor™ System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2: https://www.bd.com/en-us/offerings/capabilities/microbiology-solutions/point-of-care-testing/bd-veritor-plus-system-for-rapid-covid-19-sars-cov-2-testing


*I certify that I have received orientation in the above-mentioned areas.






___________  _______________________________________     ____________

Initials            Signature                                                                                Date






___________  _______________________________________     ____________

Initials            Signature                                                                                Date