Virginia Board of Long-Term Care Administrators
Frequently Asked Questions
Nursing Home Administrators-In-Training
1. What are the steps to obtain my license through an Administrator-in-Training (AIT) program?
One pathway to licensure as a Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) is to complete an Administrator-in-Training (AIT) program based on your experience and education. Below is a summary of the process that you would follow for the AIT process:
TO APPLY FOR AN AIT REGISTRATION:
- Establish an agreement with an available Preceptor who can supervise you for the length of your training program
Please note: the Preceptor can only have two approved trainees at one time
- Complete the Proposed AIT Training Plan/Domains of Practice form with your Preceptor
- Complete the online Nursing Home Administrator-In-Training application and submit the required documentation by mail to the Board with original signatures
ONCE YOUR AIT REGISTRATION IS APPROVED/ISSUED BY THE BOARD:
- Complete and submit to the Board your Monthly Reports reflecting the total number of hours and type of training completed by mail or email with original signatures
- Submit the Documentation of Completion form for the Board’s consideration once all training hours are complete
- The monthly reporting and completion forms may be transmitted to the Board by mail or email, but must include original signatures
Note: You will not receive credit for training hours before approval and registration as an AIT with the Board.
STEPS FOR LICENSURE: (Once your AIT program is complete and the Board has approved your reports)
- Submit the NHA initial application by examination and supporting documentation
- Complete the online registration for NHA and CORE examination through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB)
- Receive Board approval to be eligible to take the examination
Once the Board receives a passing score on the examination and all required documentation for licensure, a license will be issued to the applicant. Please note that the NHA and CORE examinations each have a limit of four (4) attempts per calendar year.
The Board must receive official passing scores from NAB for both examinations before a license can be issued.
2. What are the minimum educational requirements to start my AIT program?
You must complete at least 60 semester hours in an accredited college or university.
3. How are hours calculated based upon education?
Please review the Board’s Regulation, 18VAC95-20-310, for more information on how the required number of hours may be calculated for an NHA AIT program based upon an applicant’s education and experience.
4. Do I need to receive Board approval before beginning the AIT program?
Yes, Board approval is required before any program hours can be counted toward licensure.
5. How do I find a Preceptor?
The Board offers a list of licensed Preceptors who volunteered to list their information in a public directory and who may be available to provide training. Please note that the Preceptor may have reasons for not being able to precept during the time you are requesting.
You may also use the DHP License Lookup feature online to search by occupation or area.
Additionally, the long-term care provider associations in Virginia (Affiliated Associations page) may provide additional information to assist you in locating a preceptor.
6. What is the Board’s processing time for applications?
Complete applications are reviewed within 30 days of the receipt of all required documentation. All applications are reviewed in the order in which they were received. Board staff will contact the applicant by email with any questions or concerns regarding the documentation submitted.
7. If I have past convictions, what documentation will I need to submit to the Board?
You will need to attach your original criminal history record, a certified copy of any final order, decree, or case decision by a court or regulatory agency with lawful authority to issue such order, decree, or case decision, and any other information you wish to be considered with your application (i.e., information on the status of incarceration, parole, or probation, reference letters documentation of rehabilitation, etc.). For more information, please review the Board’s Guidelines for Processing Applications for Licensure: Examination, Endorsement and Reinstatement (Guidance Document 95-12).
8. How do I document my completed hours?
You should complete the monthly report that documents your hours, shifts, activities, and learning experiences for each month of training. At the completion of your hours, you should submit the original monthly reports and the signed Documentation of Completion form for the Board's review and approval.
Note: You will not receive credit for any training hours prior to approval and registration as an AIT with the Board.
9. How often do I need to submit my reports to the Board?
Your accumulated Monthly Reports and the Documentation of Completion form should be submitted to the Board (by email or mail) with original signatures for consideration within 30 days following the completion of the AIT program.
10. How do I find the status of my application?
You may access the online application website to view your checklist, track your application's progress, and print any additional instructions and forms provided by the Board. If you need assistance accessing the site, contact the DHP Call Center at (804) 367-4444. Once you have successfully logged in, please click the "View Checklist" link located next to your licensure type under "Pending Licenses" on the "Welcome" page. At the bottom of the Checklist Information Page, you can view the Checklist (License Requirements) that the Board utilizes as they process your application. This checklist allows you to track the progress of your application.
11. How do I change my Preceptor or Training Facility?
You will need to submit a Notice of Change of Status or Discontinuance form to the Board for processing. The Board will notify you once this information has been processed.
You will receive credit for training hours under a resumed AIT program once the Board has approved your new preceptor or training facility.
12. What type of training facility is approved for my AIT program?
Training in an AIT program shall be conducted only in: 1.) A nursing home licensed by the Virginia Board of Health or by a similar licensing body in another jurisdiction; 2.) An institution operated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in which long-term care is provided; 3.) A certified nursing home owned or operated by an agency of any city, county, or the Commonwealth or of the United States government; or 4.) A certified nursing home unit that is located in and operated by a licensed hospital as defined in § 32.1-123 of the Code of Virginia, a state-operated hospital, or a hospital licensed in another jurisdiction.
13. How long does it take to complete my AIT program?
Once the Board approves an AIT to begin a training program, hours must be completed in no more than 24 months from the date of approval unless the Board has approved an extension.An AIT shall receive credit for no more than 40 hours of training per week.
14. What shifts do I need to work during my AIT program?
An AIT shall be required to serve weekday, evening, night, and weekend shifts to receive training in all areas of nursing home operation. An AIT shall receive credit for no more than 40 hours of training per week.
15. How many trainees can my Preceptor supervise?
A Preceptor may supervise no more than two AIT's at any one time.
16. What if my AIT program is interrupted or terminated?
If the program is interrupted because the registered Preceptor is unable to serve, the trainee shall notify the Board within ten (10) working days and shall obtain a new preceptor who is registered with the Board within 60 days.
Credit for training shall resume when a new preceptor is obtained and approved by the Board.
If an alternate training plan is developed, it shall be submitted to the Board for approval before the trainee resumes training.
If the training program is terminated before completion, the trainee and the Preceptor shall each submit a written explanation of the causes of program termination to the Board within ten (10) business days. The Preceptor shall also submit all required monthly progress reports completed before termination within ten (10) business days.
To notify the Board of the interruption or termination of the AIT program, please submit the original signed Notice of Change of Status or Discontinuance form, with an updated proposed AIT Training Plan/Domains of Practice form detailing the number of hours left to complete, to the Board for processing.
17. Does the Board have any guidance on the completion of monthly reports?
Your accumulated monthly reports and Documentation of Completion form should be submitted to the Board by mail or email, with original signatures.
Some AITs have questions related to the monthly form questions 1-4. The Board offers the following suggestions:
- Question 1 refers to the hours spent completing assigned tasks or activities related to different departments within the facility. The reporting of hours should correlate generally to the total hours listed on the monthly report calendar.
- Question 2 should be answered thoroughly with details about what you have learned for the month of your training.
- Question 3 should be answered with a description of any issues that occurred during the month of your training and what insights or experience you gained from those issues. Examples include how you addressed and/or what you learned from responding to a complaint from a resident who was dissatisfied; or what you learned from addressing resident needs during a power outage at the facility. The applicant should be detailed in the response.
- Question 4 refers to the attendance of any training or conferences that occurred outside of the training facility. An applicant may indicate "not applicable" if there was no outside training received during the reporting period.
Please be as complete as possible in your responses. Leaving a blank or omitting a response to any questions could result in additional information being requested by the Board.
18. Are there any required areas of training for completion of my AIT program?
An AIT is required to receive training in all areas of nursing home administration as appropriate to the experience and training of the AIT, and in accordance with the NAB Domains of Practice and as outlined in the AIT Manual. In addition, effective December 21, 2022, an AIT shall complete training on the care of residents with cognitive or mental impairments, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
19. Is there a set number of AIT training hours required related to care of residents with cognitive or mental impairments?
In December 2022, the AIT Program regulations were updated to require training on the care of residents with cognitive or mental impairments, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The regulations do not specify a certain hours requirement because the hours may depend on several factors, including the setting in which the AIT is training, the residential population being served, or the experience and education of the AIT upon entry and throughout the AIT Program. Each AIT and their Preceptor should their best and professional judgment to ensure that the AIT receives the adequate training necessary to care for residents with cognitive or mental impairments. The AIT and Preceptor will attest to completing these hours throughout the AIT Program using the Monthly Report form.