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Direct care workers (DCWs) are responsible for the care of thousands of clients, patients, residents, or tenants in health care facilities throughout Iowa. DCWs provide assistance with daily activities, administer medications, and ease the burden for Iowa's elderly and persons with disabilities.

In Iowa, only certified nursing assistants (CNAs), also referred to as nurse's aides, are placed on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry.

CNAs may apply online to be added to the registry so they are eligible for work in an Iowa long-term care facility, and CNAs are only required to be on the registry if they are seeking employment in a long-term care facility (nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or a skilled or swing bed unit of a hospital).

CNAs may visit the Health Facilities website to see if they are currently active on the registry. Select β€œDCW Search” on the left side of the page, and search by Registry ID number, first or last name, city, or county.

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Reporting Hours to the Registry

Long-term care facilities are the only entities mandated by state and federal law to verify eligibility and report qualifying employment to the registry. In Iowa, health care employment agencies that employ CNAs at long-term care facilities must also report hours for their employees working in long-term care facilities. Entities other than long-term care facilities (and health care employment agencies who staff CNAs in long-term care facilities) are not required by state or federal law to verify eligibility or report long-term care-eligible employment. However, the only way a CNA can remain active on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry is if their Iowa employer reports their hours to registry staff. 

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What if I Haven't Worked as a CNA in More than Two Years?

If a CNA performs no qualifying work for two years, the CNA will have to retake both competency tests to get their status updated on the registry and to be eligible to work in a long-term care facility in Iowa. If the CNA does not intend to work in a long-term care facility (i.e., nursing home), they do not need to be active on the registry. Review the links or contact DIAL for more information.

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Get a Copy of Your CNA Certificate or Registry Card

DIAL does not have copies of a CNA certificates. To get a copy of your certificate, contact the college or entity where you took your CNA course.

To get a copy of your registry card (proof that you are on the registry), you will need to be logged in to the Direct Care Worker Registry website (see "How Do I Update My Personal Info on the Registry").

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How Does Abuse, Neglect, and Mistreatment Affect Registry Status?

Individuals who are found guilty of abusing, neglecting, or mistreating residents by a court of law or who have had a finding of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, or misappropriation of resident property will be designated as not eligible for employment on the registry.


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