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Colorado NA Course Policies

Updated January 19, 2022
Volume XVI

The policies set forth below are in addition to the terms, conditions and policies set forth in the Nurse Aide (NA) Training Course Terms (nextstep.com/eula-terms/co). Capitalized terms undefined below have the meanings set forth in the NA Training Course Terms.

1. Eligibility Policies

1.1 Technology Requirements: Students must have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone that can be connected to the Internet with a minimum of 30MB of storage.

1.2 Language Requirements: Students must be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English to complete the Course successfully.

1.3 Background Check Requirements: The NextStep Nursing Assistant Training Course is required by law to have all Students complete and pass a background check that reviews criminal activity in all U.S. states. Students receive a background check link via email after enrollment. The background check must be completed within 48 hours of receiving the link or it will expire. Students can request a new link by clicking on the chat feature in the app. Failure to complete the background check by the lab prerequisite deadline will result in disenrollment from the Course.

The purpose of the background check is to identify disqualifying crimes. A disqualifying crime is one that would disqualify a Student from completing the clinical rotation or being approved by the State to take the certification test.  Students who have a felony, pending charges, or an active warrant, will be disenrolled from the Course.

Students who have a change in their background history after completing the background check with NextStep must notify NextStep. In this situation, Students are required to complete an additional background check after a final decision on the criminal charge is made by the court. While waiting for the additional background check to be completed, Students can complete the Theory portion of the Course, but cannot attend Lab or Clinical.

1.3.1 Offenses that Disqualify Learners from Completing the Course:  If a Student’s background check identifies a disqualifying offense, the Student will be informed by NextStep and disenrolled. Disqualifying offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Any felony convictions
  • Any crimes involving abuse, neglect or exploitation of another person
  • Violence towards another person, including domestic violence
  • Crimes of a sexual nature, including offenses requiring registration as a sex offender
  • The sale, possession, distribution or transfer of narcotics or controlled substances
  • Theft in the past seven years
  • More than two misdemeanors in the last 24 months
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol more than once in seven years
  • Crimes involving the U.S. Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or Specially Designated Nationals (SDN)
  • Crimes involving the Health and Human Services/Office of Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals/Entities or the GSA List of Parties Excluded from Federal Programs

1.4 Additional Requirements: To enroll in the Course, Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Be legally eligible to work in the United States.

  • Have a valid state driver's license or government-issued photo ID card.

  • Plan to work as a CNA in Colorado. Students understand that the Colorado NA Course is valid in Colorado only.

  • Be able to attend the CNA course’s lab and clinical in Colorado.

  • Have a GED or high school diploma.

  • Be physically able to lift up to 50 pounds, kneel, squat, stand, and work for up to 12-hours a day on their feet during lab and clinical.

  • Does not have a disqualifying offense. See Section 1.3.1 for more information.

1.5 Nondiscrimination and Accommodations Policies:

1.5.1 Nondiscrimination: NextStep does not and shall not discriminate against any Student on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

1.5.2 Reasonable Accommodation: NextStep complies with all state and federal laws which require NextStep to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified Students. To request or discuss a reasonable accommodation, please contact NextStep by email at: programdirector@nextstep.com.

1.6 Eligibility for Re-Enrollment Policy: Students who are disenrolled may be prohibited from re-enrolling in the Course without NextStep’s review and approval. NextStep may choose not to approve of re-enrollment for the following reasons, in NextStep’s sole discretion:

  • Previously disenrolled involuntarily due to conduct
  • Does not meet one or more of the general enrollment requirements as described in Sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
  • Previously had a NextStep initiated background check that identified a disqualifying offense and that offense would continue to be identified as a disqualifying offense

2. Graduation Policies

2.1 Graduation Requirements Overview: To graduate, Students must complete and pass the Course’s three components, (Theory, Lab, and Clinical) which are defined as a Series, and all prerequisites in 10 weeks. Students must adhere to the specific completion dates identified to complete each section of the Series. The 10 weeks begin on the Course Start Date date which is the first day the Student has access to the Theory portion of the Course. The Student is enrolled in the Course when assigned to a Seat in a pre-scheduled Series by the Employer Partner who is paying the Student’s Tuition. 

The Course’s three Series components and the associated time to complete can be found in the table below:

54 hours
In-person Lab site
32 hours
In-person at Clinical site (typically a nursing home)
16 hours
102 hours

2.2 Theory Requirements: Theory is completed online. Students have flexibility in choosing when they complete Theory, however, Students must complete the Theory portion of the Course by the Theory Completion date identified for the Series. Students must complete the entire Course, including Theory, Lab, and Clinical, within 10 weeks from the Enrollment Date. More information regarding this 10 week requirement can be found in Section 3.1. 

Theory includes 108 skills. Each skill takes up to 30 minutes to complete. Each skill includes video lecture and demonstration, reading, and assessment utilizing a pass/fail method. The Student must repeat the assessment questions until 100% is achieved.

2.3 Lab Requirements: Lab is completed in-person at a local Lab location. During Lab, Instructors demonstrate skills that were introduced in Theory. After demonstration, Students participate in hands-on practice which includes feedback from peers and Instructors. The Instructor in the lab determines if the Student passes or fails each skill and Lab overall. 

Lab includes 6 lab blocks and exam prep. Each block is 4 hours Exam prep is 8 hours and is completed after Clinical. Instructors are available during the Lab to provide individual feedback and answer Student questions.

2.3.1 Eligibility for Lab: Students are eligible to attend Lab after completing all Theory by the Theory Completion Deadline and all Lab Prerequisites by the Lab Prerequisite Deadline.

2.3.2 Lab Evaluation

  • Total of 3 Tries to Pass the Final Exam:
  • Fail the first time, must stay for open lab to review with the nurse Instructor (group session if more than 1 student fails)
  • Fail a 2nd time, must meet 1:1 via Zoom with a nurse Instructor to review Course content and testing strategies. They will be provided the option to take the final exam orally through a recording of all questions if they feel hearing the exam will help them in passing.
  • Fail a 3rd time, Student may be disenrolled
  • If a Student does not pass all Lab Skills by the end of all Lab days, the Student will be disenrolled.

2.3.3 Open Lab: At Open Lab, the Student has an opportunity to practice failed skills with the Instructor and other Students. Open lab is mandatory for all Students who do not pass the Lab skills during the Lab block. All Students can attend Open Lab for independent practice.

2.4 Eligibility for Lab: Upon enrollment, Students receive an email with all important Series deadlines. The Lab Prerequisite deadline requires all Theory and Lab Prerequisites be completed by the deadline to attend Lab. Failure to complete Theory and Lab Prerequisites by the Series deadline will result in disenrollment from the Course. 

One deadline is the Lab Prerequisite deadline which includes completion of health requirements that must be completed to attend Clinical in-person at a local NextStep Partner Clinical site.  During Clinical, Students have a chance to practice the skills they have learned in Theory and Lab in “real life” with those receiving care. Students have a chance to shadow facility CNAs and Clinical Instructors provide feedback on skill performance. 

Clinical is completed over two 8 hour days.

2.4.1 Eligibility for Clinical: Once a Student completes Theory, all Lab Prerequisites and passes all Lab Blocks, they are eligible to attend Clinical.

2.4.2 Lab  Prerequisites: Students are not permitted to attend Lab without submitting proof of Lab Prerequisites. These requirements are required either by law or the Clinical site to attend Clinical. Students will not be approved to attend Clinical unless documentation of all of the following has been submitted and approved per section 2.4.1 on this page.

  • Basic Life Support (BLS): Proof of current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers. Expired BLS are not approved. Other types of BLS cannot substitute for the American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Provider and are not approved. BLS certification is offered free as part of the NextStep Course.
  • Proof of a negative 2-step TB skin test
  • Proof of completion of the following immunizations: Hepatitis B, MMR, Tdap, Varicella, COVID-19, and Influenza October 1st- April 1st
  • COVID vaccinations are required. Must be fully vaccinated to attend Clinical. Being fully vaccinated means that the vaccine series is completed at least 2 weeks prior to Day 1 of Clinical. No exemptions are being given.
  • Background Check: Criminal background screening per Section 1.3.
  • Theory: All Theory must be completed to attend Lab.

2.4.3 Clinical Evaluation: Students are evaluated on their ability to act in a professional manner and perform skills with those receiving care according to the Clinical Skills Checklist. Students receive feedback about overall performance and areas to improve upon from the Clinical Instructor. If the Clinical Instructor observes any Students actions that could place the Students, or a person receiving care, in an unsafe situation or behaviors that do not uphold the Clinical Code of Conduct [per 3(g)], the student may be dismissed from Clinical or disenrolled from the Course after review by the Program Director or designee.

2.5 Certificate of Course Completion Policy: Once the Student has completed the full Series of Theory, Lab, and Clinical successfully, the Student has completed the Course and will receive a Certificate of Course Completion.

3. Student Conduct Policies

3.1 10 Week Completion Requirement:  Students must complete the Course Series including Theory, Lab, and Clinical within 10 weeks (or 70 calendar days) from their Enrollment Date.

3.2 Lab Attendance Requirements: Lab or Clinical Series Reassignment: Students must attend all Lab and Clinical days as assigned. Self or family illness may be excused, by following the Absenteeism Policy in [3.4.1 section].

  • 3.2.1 Tardiness: If a Student is more than 15 minutes late to Lab, they are not permitted to attend the Lab and may be subject to Disenrollment.
  • 3.2.2 Early Departure: Each individual Lab is 4 hours and Students are expected to stay for the entire 4-hour period. If a Student Needs to leave early due to an emergency, they must follow the Absenteeism policy to request reassignment to a new Lab and Clinical Series.

3.3 Clinical Attendance Requirements

3.3.1 Tardiness and Absenteeism:

  • Absenteeism or tardiness will not be tolerated and may result in immediate disenrollment from the Course. If a Student is going to be absent or tardy from a Lab or Clinical day, they must contact the Nurse Instructor immediately by texting or calling (720) 442-8132. Students must submit a request for reassignment to a new Lab or Clinical Series by completing the Lab and Clinical Absence Application Form for consideration along with a Doctor’s note.
  • Tardy 15 minutes or less: If the Student is tardy 15 minutes or less from the start of the Clinical, the Student must, with the instructor, make up time after the Clinical’s end time. Make-up time must be equal to the number of minutes tardy. 

    Students can be tardy 15 minutes or less from the start of the Clinical one time only. If Students  are tardy beyond this one time, they cannot participate in the Clinical and may be disenrolled. The Student will need to follow the Absenteeism Policy for consideration of a Reassignment in a different Clinical Series.
  • Tardy more than 15 minutes: If the Student is more than 15 minutes tardy from the start of the Clinical, they cannot participate in the Clinical as scheduled and may be disenrolled. The Student can follow the Absenteeism Policy for Series Reassignment [3.3.1].
  • Early departure: Each Clinical day is 8 hours long with a thirty minute lunch break. Students are expected to stay for the entire time. If a Student needs to leave early due to an emergency, the Student must follow the Absenteeism Policy for consideration of Reassignment into a new Clinical Series.

3.4  Confidentiality Requirements for Lab and Clinical

3.4.1 Confidentiality: All personal information Students become aware of during Lab and Clinical, whether verbal or written, is considered confidential. This includes interactions with NextStep staff, Clinical site staff, individuals receiving care at the Clinical site, and other Students. Students should report any violations they become aware of to NextStep staff.

3.4.2 HIPAA:

  • Students are expected to uphold all requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Students should report any violations they become aware of to NextStep staff.

3.5 Code of Conduct for Lab and Clinical

3.5.1 General Requirement: Students are expected to behave in an appropriate and professional manner during all interactions with other Students, individuals receiving care, and NextStep staff including instructors, the Customer Success team, and Clinical site staff.

3.5.2 Disciplinary Action: Disciplinary action may include dismissal from Lab or Clinical for the day and/or disenrollment from the Course.

3.5.3  Examples of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior: Unprofessional and inappropriate behavior is not tolerated and could result in dismissal from Lab or Clinical for the day and/or disenrollment from the Course. This includes violating any part of the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement and/or NextStep Student Policies. In addition, unprofessional and/or inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to, the examples below:

  • Not wearing scrubs and appropriate shoes to Lab and Clinical  per Section 3.8.
  • Not following the NextStep attendance policy for attendance, tardiness, early dismissal and no-shows for Lab and Clinical per Sections 3.2 and 3.3. 
  • Not respecting the property of others, including, but not limited to, damaging or removing equipment and supplies from the Lab, Clinical site, or residents’ rooms in the site.  
  • Not displaying professional, courteous, accommodating and respectful behavior and language at all times. For example, arguing, fighting, being aggressive towards others, threatening others’ welfare, or using profanity in the Lab or Clinical site.
  • Not respecting the privacy, rights, privileges, health, and/or safety of other Learners, NextStep staff, site staff, or individuals receiving care in the Clinical site. This includes, but is not limited to, posting images or statuses to social networking sites. 
  • Not following NextStep’s no-cheating policy in Lab. For example, giving or receiving help during the final exam.
  • Not refraining from alcohol or drug use before or during Lab and Clinical.
  • Not following policies on where to eat and/or chew gum in Clinical areas.
  • Not following the no mobile phone or other electronic device policy in Clinical areas.
  • Not acting in a professional manner during Lab or Clinical. Examples of unprofessional behaviors include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Refusing to work with other Learners
  • Taking excessive breaks
  • Not returning on time from breaks or lunches
  • Sleeping at any time
  • Not participating in Lab as directed by the instructor
  • Not following all requirements of a fully executed Success Agreement which details any violation of a Student policy and steps to be taken to correct the violation. 
  • Not following all Clinical site policies or procedures.
  • Not following instructions if given repeatedly
  • Not representing self appropriately in the Clinical site. For example, stating inaccurately that they are a CNA or have been trained to insert IVs or other skills outside of the NA Scope of Practice. 
  • Not following constructive feedback from the Instructor or other NextStep staff.
  • Not following Lab and Clinical schedules, confirmed by NextStep.
  • Not following Instructor assignments in the Clinical site.  For example, performing skills for which they have not been assigned, trained, or found proficient by the Instructor, not completing assigned duties, or performing skills outside of the NA Scope of Practice. 
  • Not reporting or documenting information about an individual’s care with the Instructor or Clinical site staff.
  • Not communicating with the instructor or appropriate site staff when leaving the Clinical unit. 
  • Not being permitted to stay at or return to the Clinical site per the request of site staff.
  • Not achieving proficiency in skills as determined by the Clinical Instructor. 
  • Not treating individuals, peers, Instructors, or mentors in a manner free of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.

3.6 Dress Code Requirements for Lab and Clinical:

  • Scrubs must be neat, clean, and wrinkle-free. A solid white shirt may be worn under the scrub top. Pants must fit at the waist and be long enough to cover the ankle.
  • Footwear must be clean, non-canvas material with a closed toe and heel.
  • Socks must be clean. No portion of the leg or ankle should be visible.
  • Hair must be neat, clean, and arranged to not touch the collar.
  • Make-up must be kept to a minimum.
  • Perfumes and colognes are not allowed.
  • Nails must be short, clean, and free of any nail polish or artificial covering.Tattoos must be covered.
  • Jewelry - Watches, medical alert necklaces or bracelets, a single ring, or a single pair of post-earrings are the only visible jewelry allowed.
  • Equipment – Only items required for the job are allowed, which include a watch with a second hand, NextStep photo ID, and a black pen.

3.7 Disenrollment Policy:

3.7.1 Disenrollment: Students are disenrolled in the following circumstances:

  • Failure to complete all Theory by the Theory completion deadline date
  • Failure to complete Lab prerequisites by the Lab prerequisite deadline date
  • Failure to successfully complete Labs during the scheduled Lab Series dates
  • Failure to successfully complete Clinical during the scheduled Clinical Series dates 
  • Violation of the Lab or Clinical Code of Conduct
  • Student chooses to disenroll by sending an email to programdirector@nextstep.com with written details stating that they want to disenroll

Students who are disenrolled are notified of disenrollment in writing by email. 

Re-enrollment for Students who are disenrolled is per Section 1.6.

4. Tuition and Additional Cost Requirements

4.1 Tuition Tuition is paid for by the Student’s Employer Partner. NextStep does not charge tuition to Students.

4.2 Tuition Covered Services:

  • State Approved CNA Course including Theory, Lab, Clinical.
  • State Required Background check.
  • First pair of scrubs.
  • CPR (American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers).  
  • Personalized CNA Mentor support.
  • State Approved NA Course Certificate of Completion.
  • Test Prep for the State NA Certification Exam.
  • Post-graduation assistance in registering for State CNA Certification Exam

4.3 Costs in Addition to Tuition:

  • Vaccines per 2.4.2.
  • TB test per 2.4.2.
  • State CNA certification exam fee

5. Other Policies

5.1  Grievance Policy: Students who have a complaint or concern can request an appointment with their Nurse Instructor, the Program Director or appropriate designee. The Program Director or appropriate designee will notify the Student of the appointment date on which the concerns will be addressed. Every effort will be made to bring an amicable resolution.

To file a grievance, Students should put grievances in writing to programdirector@nextstep.com. The request should include the Student’s full name and a statement of concern, including dates, times and names of those involved. The Program Director reviews grievances and follows up with the Student to gather needed information. If necessary, a panel of Instructors and/or appropriate NextStep staff will hear the concerns and be asked to assist in bringing a resolution. The Program Director makes determinations regarding grievances within 10 business days from the date the grievance was filed. The Program Director’s determination is emailed to the Student.

5.2 Record Retention Policy: Student records are maintained for seven years.

5.3 Holiday Closures Policy: NextStep Customer Success support, Lab, and Clinical are closed for the following holidays.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day After Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

5.4 Weather Related Closures: In the event of severe weather, decisions about canceling scheduled Lab and Clinical are made no later than 2 hours before Lab and Clinical start times. Every effort will be made to cancel Lab and Clinical as early as possible. If a Lab or Clinical is canceled, NextStep notifies Students by text, email, in-app chat, and/or phone until contact is made with the Student or all channels for contact have been exhausted.

5.5 Policy  Exceptions: Exceptions to Student Policies can be made by the Program Director when NextStep has a service interruption, cancels a Lab or Clinical, or similar event that impacts a Student’s ability to complete a necessary action and the failure to complete this necessary action would otherwise result in disciplinary action or disenrollment.

5.6  Customer Success Support Hours: Customer Success Support Hours are available via chat, email, text or phone. 8a.m.- 5p.m. PST Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. PST Saturday. Students can send emails to support@nextstep.com

5.7 Lab and Clinical Availability Guarantee Policy: Lab and Clinical availability are not unlimited. Lab and Clinical Series days are assigned upon enrollment into the Course and cannot be changed. The only exception to this policy is self or family illness per the Absenteeism Policy [3.3.1].

5.7  Program Director Designee: For policies that rely on the Program Director to take an action, the Program Director may designate another NextStep staff person to complete the necessary action on behalf of the Program Director.