Standards and regulations adopted by the state department pursuant to Section 1276 shall not require the use of a registered nurse for the performance of any service or staffing of any position in freestanding skilled nursing facilities that may lawfully be performed or staffed by a licensed vocational nurse pursuant to the Vocational Nursing Practice Act (Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 2840) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code) and applicable federal regulations, when a facility is unable to obtain a registered nurse, except that a licensed vocational nurse employed in accordance with this section shall be a permanent employee of the facility. The facility shall make a good faith effort to obtain a registered nurse prior to determining that it is unable to obtain a registered nurse for the relevant shift, and this effort shall be noted in the facility’s records. The facility shall make provision for a registered nurse to be available for consultation and professional assistance during the hours in which a licensed vocational nurse is used as provided by this section. The facility shall maintain a record of the identity and phone number of the registered nurse that is to be available for consultation and professional assistance, as required by this section. If the substitution of a licensed vocational nurse for a registered nurse occurs more often than seven days per month, the facility shall obtain program flexibility approval from the state department pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1276. Nothing in this section shall permit a licensed vocational nurse to act as director of nurses pursuant to the Vocational Nursing Practice Act. This section applies to staffing for the evening and night shifts only, except that if the level of care is determined by the state department to be inadequate, the state department may require the facility to provide additional staffing.
This section shall not apply to the Medi-Cal regulations adopted pursuant to Sections 14114 and 14132.25 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 645, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018