Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP)

Texas Health and Human Services reviews and approves or disapproves nurse aide training and competency evaluation programs and nurse aide competency evaluation programs.

Announcement Nurse Aide online system

As of 07/05/2023, NATCEPs, nurse aides and applicants for nurse aide certification will apply via Texas Unified License Information Portal (TULIP), a web-based licensure system designed specifically for licensed long-term care providers and licensees. TULIP will allow Nurse Aides to complete all certification and application functions online. For assistance with using TULIP, see user guide link on the TULIP landing page.

Log into TULIP account to create applicant registration, login and reset password.

To contact the NATCEP, call 512-438-2017.

Any person or entity that wants to offer a NATCEP must receive approval from HHS.

FAQs Related to the New TULIP Credentialing System

HHSC implemented a new credentialing system in the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) on July 5, 2023. This transition has resulted in issues that have affected individuals trying to use the system. HHSC IT is working diligently on correcting these issues.

The following are some of the frequently asked questions HHSC has received:

What do I do if I have problems with registering in TULIP?

If you’re experiencing registration issues, email TULIP Support at TULIP Support.

Who do I contact if I can’t generate or submit an application?

If you’re experiencing issues with generating or submitting an application, email TULIP Support at TULIP Support.

When I report a technical issue to TULIP Support, what information should I include?

For technical support issues, read How to report TULIP Technical Support Issues (PDF).

In all cases, the following information will help IT answer your question or resolve your problem:

  • Provide a detailed description of the question or problem, including USERID, Facility/Agency license number (if licensed), NFA License (if applicable), application number, form number, screen and other details.
  • Include screenshots if possible. Do not include personally identifiable information, HIPAA protected information, or other protected data.
  • Please provide a call-back number in case we need to contact you to discuss the issue.

Is there a resource for more information regarding TULIP?

How long should it take to receive a response from TULIP Support?

TULIP Support is receiving a large volume of emails and the wait time for a response can be weeks.

Who do I contact if I have questions about information I need to enter into an application?

For questions about the application process, use the following contacts:

How long will I have to wait if I call the Nurse Aide Registry Call Center?

The call center is currently experiencing a large volume of calls, and the wait time can be up to three hours. Note that the system automatically disconnects all calls still in queue at the end of the day.

Is there any training available regarding the new TULIP credentialing system?

TULIP Computer Based Trainings:

TULIP Credentialing Transition Grace Period Extended

Nurse Aides (NAs), Medication Aides (MAs), Nursing Facility Administrators (NFAs), and Nurse Aide Training Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEPs) are now required to use the new credentialing system in the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) for licensing certification or permitting activities.

Note: HHSC is extending a grace period for all NAs, MAs, NFAs and NATCEPs to allow users time to learn and understand the new credentialing system. All NAs certifications, MA permits, NFA licenses and NATCEP approvals active on June 16, 2023, will be considered active until April 30, 2024.

For registration issues in TULIP, email HHSC TULIP Support.

For NA questions, email HHSC Nurse Aide Registry.

For MA questions, email HHSC Medication Aide Program.

For NFA questions, email HHSC NFA Licensing Program.

For NATCEP questions, email HHSC Regulatory NATCEP.

Effective Oct. 1: HHSC Issues Updated Guidance on New NATCEP Survey Process (PL 2023-16)

HHSC has issued Provider Letter 2023-16 - NATCEP Survey Process (PDF).

The Provider Letter (PL) informs Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP) providers that effective October 1, 2023, the Licensing and Credentialing division of HHSC Long-term Care Regulation will be performing regular surveys on NATCEPs to ensure compliance with the NATCEP federal regulations at 42 CFR §484.151 and state rules at 26 TAC §556.

In addition, the PL provides guidance regarding how the NATCEP survey process will take place.

Read the details of PL 2023-16 (PDF).

For questions about the NATCEP survey process to be completed by LTCR credentialing staff, please contact the NATCEP program by email HHSC Regulatory NATCEP.

For questions about this letter, please contact the Policy and Rules Section by email HHSC LTCR Policy or call (512) 438-3161.

NATCEP Requirements

Each NATCEP must provide a minimum of 100 clock hours of training, including:

  • 60 clock hours of classroom training that doesn't involve direct resident care
  • 40 clock hours of hands-on resident care in a nursing facility

Each NATCEP must teach the HHS-established curriculum, including:

  1. At least 16 introductory hours of training in the following areas before direct client contact:
    1. Communication and interpersonal skills
    2. Infection control
    3. Safety and emergency procedures, including the Heimlich maneuver
    4. Promoting residents' independence
    5. Respecting residents' rights
  2. Personal care skills
  3. Basic nursing skills
  4. Mental health and social service needs
  5. Care of cognitively impaired residents
  6. Basic restorative services
  7. Residents' rights

A facility may not provide NATCEP training if, within the previous two years, it:

  1. Operated under a waiver under 42 United States Code, relating to the services of a registered nurse
  2. Has been subject to an extended (or partial extended) survey under 42 USC
  3. Has been assessed a civil money penalty of not less than $5,000
  4. Has been subject to denial of payment or appointment of temporary management

Nurse aides renewing their certification are required to complete 24 hours of in-service education every two years. All approved NATCEPs are eligible to offer in-service education. If you are interested in offering this training, complete a NATCEP application in TULIP. All non-facility based NATCEPs are required to obtain additional approval through the Texas Workforce Commission. Please contact TWC at 512-936-3100.

Nursing Facility Clinical Site Survey

In the summer of 2021, HHSC conducted a survey of nursing facilities’ interest in becoming a NATCEP clinical site. The following report includes respondents that answered yes to both of the following survey questions and includes the information they provided:

  • Is your facility willing to partner with a NATCEP to be a clinical site for nurse aides who do not work at your facility?
  • If so, are you willing to have your facility's name and contact information listed on the HHSC website as a possible clinical site?

Being included in this report does not guarantee that the nursing facility meets the requirements to be a clinical site. The review and determination of approval of the clinical site is completed once the NATCEP submits an application designating the site as a potential clinical site.

NATCEPs who are pursuing a clinical site with a nursing facility should read the report (Excel) of nursing facilities interested in becoming a clinical site.

Nursing facilities should review their information (Excel) is accurate or needs to be changed (updated, added, deleted). If changes are necessary, please send an email with any corrections. Please include NATCEP Clinical Site Survey in the subject line.

Employability Checks

NATCEPs are required to check both the Employee Misconduct Registry and the Nurse Aide Registry and to conduct a criminal history background check for all applicants. Applicants found to be listed on the EMR, or who are listed on the NAR in "revoked" status, or who have a criminal history that would bar employment in a HHS-licensed facility or agency are prohibited from enrolling in a nurse aide training program.

Military Members, Spouses and Veterans

The State of Texas recognizes the contributions of our military service members, their spouses, and veterans.

Military service members or veterans may have met some licensing requirements as a result of their military service or other training, knowledge, and experience. Military spouses of current, active duty military service members may also have met some licensing requirements related to this status. Modifications to renewal requirements may also be available for some military service members on active duty.

For more information regarding special licensure provisions military service members, military veterans, or military spouses may qualify for, read Senate Bill 1307, 84th Regular Legislative Session, 2015 (PDF).

For more information regarding requirements, email Credentialing or call 512-438-2017.

Statutes and Rules

The Nurse Aide rules are found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 26, Part 1, Chapter 556.

Training

TULIP Walkthrough – New and Renewal Applications for NATCEP