Skilled Nursing Facilities

“What did I do before COVID?”

On this weeks’ WI DON Council’s Support Call, a statement was made, “What did I even do before COVID?”  The statement was so thought-provoking. COVID seems to have taken over our lives and seeps into every thought and decision that we make at home and work.  This week we celebrate Nurses’ Week.  It is the Year of the Nurse in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale.  As I hear many of my nursing colleagues struggle with the new normal that COVID has brought to our facilities, please don’t forget what drew you to the nursing career. The desire to care for people with our technical ability, critical thinking skills, and healing touch is an extraordinary calling.      I encourage everyone during this Nurses’ Week to spend a few minutes doing something that replenishes your soul.  Perform those tasks or functions that bring you joy in your work life.  Be proud of the dedication, compassion, and selflessness that you share.   Laugh a lot! Celebrate a little! During Nurses’ Week, be the “Lady with the Lamp” and seek out the thing you love! Take a moment to love being a NURSE.  Happy Nurses’ Week.   Joey Pettis BSN, RN, WCC, DNS-MTExecutive Director Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council – Education Forum, Inc.

By |May 11th, 2020|Blog, Skilled Nursing Facilities|Comments Off on “What did I do before COVID?”

I’m scared. You should be too.

The Closing of Wisconsin Nursing Homes and the Staffing Crisis Needs Everyones Attention. Last Thursday was Valentine’s Day, but that day my heart was breaking. It started as a pleasant Thursday. The facility I consulted with had a deficiency-free survey — a great accomplishment for their team. The WI DON Council received its provider number from the California Board of Registered Nursing.  A wonderful addition to offering continuing education hours to our members.  I was appointed to be a part of the Wisconsin Dementia Task Force on behalf of the WI DON Council. A tremendous honor to advocate for our dementia resident on behalf of our members. All in all, it had been a week of positives.  Then I heard the news.  Word was out that yet another facility in Milwaukee is closing.  The Director of Nursing, one of our members, and her staff are going through the challenge of closing a facility and displacing the elderly from what they know to call home.   It makes me sad. It makes me angry. It makes me worried.  Wisconsin, we should be scared. I’m scared! Why Scared! This announcement makes six nursing home announcing closures in the first seven weeks of 2019. 27 nursing homes closed in 2016-2018.  Many of these closures were related to the  low Medicaid reimbursement rate. When all is said and done, Wisconsin will have lost 33 long term care facilities since 2016. Read on after you have had a moment to digest the figures above. How can we sustain this rate of closure? How can we continue to care for our most vulnerable population,  if homes are not around when they are needed. We all understand the push for home based care, […]

By |February 19th, 2019|CNA, Nurse Leader, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Staffing Crisis, Uncategorized|Comments Off on I’m scared. You should be too.

Nurse Leader Blog: LTC Nursing is Honoring Our Elders’ Rights, Dignity and Choices

Joey Pettis, Executive Director, wrote a Nurse Leader Blog post for AADNS.  LTC Nursing is Honoring Our Elders’ Rights, Dignity, and Choices By Juzell (Joey) Pettis, RN, DNS- CT, WCC, DWC – July 14, 2017 Originally posted at American Association of Director of Nursing Services blog date July 14, 2017  I started my career as a nurse in 1972 in a small rural hospital where nurses were generalists and often learned by trial and error. I first learned that I did not want to be an OB nurse or care for pediatrics. My first OB patient was having her fifth child and thank goodness told me everything that I needed to know. I mention this experience because it taught me to listen to my patients, because they know their body and what is happening to it. “Listen and learn” is a message I have carried with me all the years of my career.  After working in the generalist role, I realized that I wanted to be good at something and not just kind of good at everything. This led me to taking a position as the Emergency Room and Operating Room Supervisor at a Regional Trauma Center in Oklahoma. This was certainly my dream job. I became an excellent technician and could start IVs, intubate, and assist in these amazing trauma cases. I was happy, young, and full of adrenaline from these experiences. But my husband’s career took a turn and we had a great opportunity, so I left what I was sure was the career I wanted.   We moved to Texas, and I tried to be a “stay at home” mom but that only lasted for about two months before my husband and children […]

By |July 17th, 2017|Blog, Nurse Leader, Skilled Nursing Facilities|Comments Off on Nurse Leader Blog: LTC Nursing is Honoring Our Elders’ Rights, Dignity and Choices

Caregiver Career Program

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services released the memo below regarding a Caregiver Career Program to help address the CNA staffing crisis that Wisconsin is facing. While we know more is needed, the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council applauds this action to help bring more CNA’s into the workforce. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 28, 2017 Contact: Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683 Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683 Wisconsin Launches Caregiver Career Program Innovative program to help recruit, train, and retain nurse aides In an effort to attract and retain more nursing home caregivers, Wisconsin is launching an innovative program called the Caregiver Career Program. The Department of Health Services (DHS) has received federal approval to move forward with the more than $2.3 million investment to implement the Wisconsin Caregiver Career Program, designed to add up to 3,000 nurse aides to the workforce, in this high demand field. “We recognize that Wisconsin needs committed caregivers for our state’s most vulnerable adults,” said Secretary Linda Seemeyer. “As our population ages, it becomes even more critical that we invest in our workforce, so those served in nursing homes get the best quality of care.” DHS is developing the program in partnership with nursing homes, LeadingAge Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Health Care Association, and the Wisconsin Technical College System. The program will offer training and testing at no cost to students, and also implements a $500 retention bonus for nurse aides, after six months on the job at a nursing home. The program will also include a marketing and recruitment plan to not only increase the number of people entering caregiver careers, but also increase awareness about the value of caregiving and the change caregivers can make in the lives of Wisconsin’s elders. Nurse aides provide […]

By |March 30th, 2017|Blog, CNA, Employment, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Staffing Crisis, WI DQA|Comments Off on Caregiver Career Program

Exhibitor Referral Bonus

Earn a $25 Referral Bonus in the form of an Amazon Gift Card when you refer an Exhibitor who registers for Symposium 2017! Here is a link to our Exhibitor Prospectus you can forward your favorite supplier, vendor or consultant. There is no limit to how many Exhibitors you can refer. Well… We can only fit 30 more Exhibitors so there’s that. That’s a lot of gift cards! LOL. Below are the Exhibitors from 2016 (they wouldn’t be eligible for a referral). Hopefully, this will give you an idea of who is missing out on meeting decision makers. * Exhibitor must register and complete the purchase. Gift Card will be given after the Exhibitor Showcase. Exhibitor must use the referral’s name on the registration form. The Exhibitor must not have exhibited in the last 5 years. Other restrictions apply. Rules and Restrictions can be updated without notice.        

By |December 7th, 2016|Skilled Nursing Facilities, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Exhibitor Referral Bonus

DQA Memo RE: Recalled Strawberries

    WI Dept. of Health Services has requested we post information regarding the Nationwide Frozen Strawberry recall. (11/7/16) Update re: Nationwide Recall of Frozen Strawberries On November 3, 2016 the Division of Public Health (DPH) sent notification on this listserv regarding a nationwide recall of frozen strawberries due to contamination with the hepatitis A virus. DPH has learned that Sysco, the Wisconsin distributor of these berries, has already contacted the vast majority of customers who received the recalled product. If your facility has been contacted because you have received the recalled berries, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health recommends: If the recalled frozen strawberries have not been served to residents or staff within the past 14 days, any remaining product should be discarded and no further action is needed. There is no need for facilities to notify their local health department if no one consumed the berries in the last two weeks. If the berries have been consumed within the past 14 days, CDC recommends providing post exposure prophylaxis (hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin) to unvaccinated people who have eaten the recalled strawberries. Please notify your medical director immediately and also contact your local health department to inform them of your situation. Your local health department can provide information on the post exposure regimen as summarized on the CDC’s web page devoted to this recall (  

By |November 7th, 2016|Skilled Nursing Facilities, WI DQA|Comments Off on DQA Memo RE: Recalled Strawberries

DQA Memo Nov 5, 2017

Division of Quality Assurance: Notifications & Updates ATTN: All Regulated Health and Residential Care Providers Reporting to the Division of Quality Assurance via Select Survey Online reporting available through Select Survey has been temporarily taken offline to address technical issues. Department of Health Services staff are working on resolving the issues. We anticipate that online reporting through Select Survey will not be available for part of this next week. In the meantime, please report information/incidents to DQA as needed using other contact information available at: Complaints Concerning Health or Residential Care in Wisconsin Caregiver Misconduct Reporting and Investigating Requirements We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding.

By |November 6th, 2016|Skilled Nursing Facilities|Comments Off on DQA Memo Nov 5, 2017
  • CNA Staffing Shortage – Do One Thing Campaign CNA Staffing Shortage – Do One Thing Campaign

    CNA Staffing Shortage – Do One Thing Campaign

CNA Staffing Shortage – Do One Thing Campaign

Below you will find a timeline of some of the events that have taken place in an effort for the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council to bring awareness to the CNA staffing crisis. In 2016 the WDONC embarked on an effort to fix one piece of the complex puzzle that has put Wisconsin in a severe CNA staffing crisis. Currently, we are working with a second legislative body to try an bring the regulation for hours of instructional training in line with the federal standard of 75-hours. Thank you to WHCA and LeadingAgeWI for spearheading this effort. Also, thank you to Rep. Petryk from District 93 who has worked with his assembly and senate colleagues to bring this bill to life. It would not be where it is without their leadership on this issue. ___________________________________________________________________________ January 15, 2020 AB-76 was brought to the Assembly floor for a vote to override the veto of Governor Evers on the CNA Training Hours Bill.    Last year, the bill had bipartisan support in the Assembly and passed the Senate unanimously.  We would like to thank Rep. Warren Petryk – District 93 for his work since 2016 in bringing this bill to life and his continued belief that our providers need action that moves the needle.  You can listen to the archived press conference were Rep. Petryk discusses the override. HERE Nov. 20, 2019 Governor Evers vetos AB 76. View the joint provider Press Release on the Veto of AB76 that would have helped address the CNA Workforce Shortage Oct. 9th, 2019 AB-76 passed on a 3-2 party-line vote in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee: — GOP-Testin, Kooyenga, and Jacques voting yes; — Dem-Erpenbach and Carpenter voting no. […]

By |October 28th, 2016|Blog, CNA, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Staffing Crisis|Comments Off on CNA Staffing Shortage – Do One Thing Campaign

DQA Memo: Acute Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in LTC Facilities

This memo regarding Reporting, Prevention and Control of Acute Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities has been sent to the long term care care facilities through the Division of Quality Assurance. While this is an extensive listserve, due to the importance of this memo, Thomas Haupt, Influenza Surveillance Coordinator, has requested we share this memo with our listserve.   Memo from DQA… Attn: Long-Term Care Facilities FYI / Reporting, Prevention and Control of Acute Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities The Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health (DPH) has issued the attached memo regarding reporting, prevention and control of acute respiratory illness outbreaks in long-term care facilities. This memo is intended as guidance to medical and administrative staff of long-term care facilities in Wisconsin. It is left to the discretion of facility staff whether to use this guidance wholly or in part, or to use recommendations from another source to prevent and control respiratory illness in their facility. Guidance marked “required” is mandatory per Wisconsin State Statue 252 or Wisconsin Administrative Code DHS 145. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Thomas Haupt, Influenza Surveillance Coordinator, at 608-266-5326 or ​

By |October 9th, 2015|Blog, Skilled Nursing Facilities|Comments Off on DQA Memo: Acute Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in LTC Facilities

CMS Proposed Changes

CMS Proposed Substantial Changes to Skilled Nursing Facilities Regulations On July 13, CMS put forth significant PROPOSED rule changes that would affect skilled nursing facilities. The proposed rule changes span 403 pages and include significant revisions and additions. At this point in the review of the lengthy document the following areas (but are not limited to) are of great significance and concern: o More extensive Infection Control Requirements that would require a designated Infection Prevention and Control Officer with training in infection prevention and control beyond their initial license. o Facility must include on their interdisciplinary team a qualified mental health professional in the care planning process for residence diagnosed with mental health conditions or prescribed psychotropic drugs. o Center may not use on any basis any person (employee, contract, or agency) that does not meet competency requirements. o QAPI The executive summary of the propsed changes states, “These proposals are also an integral part of our efforts to achieve broad-based improvements both in the quality of health care furnished through federal programs, and in patient safety, while at the same time reducing procedural burdens on providers.” Nowhere in the 403 page document are their proposed changes that would reduce burdens on providers. What can you do? There are 3 Calls to Action: 1. Be Informed! Read the document. 2. Please get as many people to submit individual comments DIRECTLY to CMS by Sept. 14, 2015. Below are the instructions from the CMS memo. In commenting, please refer to file code CMS-3260-P. Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission. You may submit comments in one of four ways (please choose only one of the ways listed): A. […]

By |September 4th, 2015|Blog, Skilled Nursing Facilities|Comments Off on CMS Proposed Changes