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IL license defense lawyerBecause of their important role in providing for the care and health of their patients, Illinois nursing homes are subject to oversight from both the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure they are in compliance with regulations. With the additional risks that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for nursing home residents, additional guidelines have been put in place to promote their safety. Now more than ever, it is important for nursing homes to take the necessary measures to avoid violations that could impact their licensure.

Guidelines for Illinois Nursing Homes During COVID-19

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, CMS has issued guidelines for the safe operation of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities throughout the United States. For example, nursing homes must:

  • Require staff to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves, gowns, and visors
  • Regularly screen residents, staff, and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Use proper hand hygiene
  • Follow a plan for testing and monitoring residents and staff for COVID-19
  • Restrict visitation, communal dining, and group activities

CMS has also instituted a system for removing some restrictions in phases for nursing homes that are able to control the spread of COVID-19.

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IL license defense lawyerIt is fairly recognized that nursing school is not an easy path to take. While slightly less rigorous than medical school, those who wish to be Illinois nurses are still required to take intense courses aimed at preparing them for in-field work and the difficult exam, known as the NCLEX-RN, to become a registered nurse. This exam is a national, standardized test to ensure that future nurses are fully capable of taking care of patients and performing other medical duties.

Since many nursing students take their NCLEX exam coming out of college, they will typically receive nursing licensure in the state where they went to school. However, it is unlikely that these medical professionals will never move out of state. For those moving to Illinois, there is a particular process that they must follow to become an Illinois certified nurse.

Out-of-State Licensure

If a nurse moves from one state to another and still intends on working in this field, they will need to receive “licensure by endorsement” in the new state that they are moving to. In other words, out of state nurses must receive license verification and endorsement from the previous state(s) that they worked in. This includes the current state, the original state (if different), and any other state that the nurse has practiced over the past five years. Illinois requires nurses to provide their NCLEX results, either from the state of original licensure or the testing company. These endorsement candidates can be issued a temporary license to begin work while the paperwork is being processed.

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IL license defense lawyerHere in the state of Illinois, nursing homes are regulated and monitored by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The IDPH is responsible for disciplining nursing homes in which forms of reckless treatment or negligence has taken place. Even if just one of your employees has acted in a negligent manner, those actions alone could warrant an investigation. If your nursing home is under investigation, it is possible that you could be facing a severe form of disciplinary action, from the IDPH, and you should contact your legal team immediately. Understanding and communicating the most common forms of negligent nursing home behavior, to your staff members, could help you avoid an investigation.

Common Forms of Neglect

Approximately two million elderly Americans claim that they have faced some form of abuse from a caregiver. While nursing home neglect can come in various forms, and even the most minor complaints can lead to an investigation by the IDPH, understanding the most common forms of neglectful or abusive behavior can save you from a costly lawsuit.

Physical Abuse: Overt physical abuse should result in an immediate termination of an employee. From striking or pushing a patient to restraining them with ties to administer medication, any complaints of physical abuse will likely warrant an immediate investigation. Physical abuse from a caregiver can lead to long-term mental and physical health ramifications, and should not be taken lightly.

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