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Colorado CNA Training Course Policies

Updated November 17, 2021
Volume XVI

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

1. Eligibility Policies

1.1 Technology Requirements: Learners 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: Learners must be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English to complete the Course successfully.

1.3 Background Check Requirements: Nursing Assistant training programs are required by law to have all Learners complete a background check that reviews criminal activity in all U.S. states. NextStep initiates the background check process by Skillset 4 in the Theory portion of the Course. The purpose of the background check is to identify disqualifying crimes. A disqualifying crime is one which would disqualify a Learner from completing the Course or being hired as a CNA. Learners who have a felony, pending charges, or an active warrant, may not register, or continue with the Course.

Learners who have a change in their background history after completing the background check with NextStep must notify NextStep. In this situation, Learners 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, Learners 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 Learner’s  background check identifies a disqualifying offense, the Learner 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

1.3.2 Offenses that Disqualify the Learner from Being Placed as a CNA: In cases where a Learner’s background check does not identify a disqualifying offense, but identifies an offense that could potentially disqualify the Learner from being hired by an employer as a CNA, the Learner will be informed by NextStep and given the option to continue enrollment or disenroll voluntarily.

  • If the Learner chooses to continue enrollment, the Learner agrees to either continue in the tuition track, if previously selected, or be assigned to the tuition track in the case that no track has been previously selected or placement track has been previously selected.
  • If the Learner chooses to voluntarily disenroll, tuition may be due per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement.

1.4 Additional Requirements: To enroll in the Course, Learners 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. Learners understand that the Colorado CNA 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.

  • Does not have a disqualifying offense. See Section 1.3 for more information.

1.5 Nondiscrimination and Accommodations Policies:

1.5.1 Nondiscrimination: NextStep does not and shall not discriminate against any Learner 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 a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals. To request or discuss a reasonable accommodation, please contact NextStep by email at: programdirector@nextstep.com.

1.6 Eligibility for Re-Enrollment Policy: Learners who are involuntarily disenrolled may be prohibited from re-enrolling in the Course without NextStep 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, Learners must complete and pass the Course’s three components (Theory, Lab, and Clinical)  within 12 weeks of Registration Date. “Registration Date” is defined as the date that the Learner registered in the course by providing NextStep with their name, email, and zipcode. More information regarding this 12 week requirement can be found in Section 3.1.

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

54 hours
Practice Lab
In-person Lab site
24 hours
In-person at Clinical site (typically a nursing home)
16 hours
94 hours

2.2 Theory Requirements: Theory is completed online. Learners have flexibility in choosing when they complete Theory, however Learners must complete the entire Course, including Theory, Lab, and Clinical, within 12 weeks from the Registration Date. More information regarding this 12 week requirement can be found in Section 3.1. 

Theory includes 108 skills. Each skill takes an estimated 30 minutes to complete. Each skill includes video lecture and demonstration, reading, and assessment. 

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, Learners participate in hands-on practice which includes feedback from peers and instructors, and finally official evaluation by a NextStep nurse evaluator. 

Lab includes six lab blocks. Each block is four hours. Instructors are available during Lab to provide individual feedback and answer Learner questions.

2.3.1 Eligibility for Lab: Once Learners complete Skillset 8, they are eligible to schedule Lab. To attend Lab, Learners must complete the Theory prerequisites as follows:

Complete These Skill Sets
Before Attending These Labs
Skillset 8: Reposition or Move
Lab 1: Mahoney
Skillset 10: Basic Care
Lab 2: Seacole
Skillset 13: Personal Care
Lab 3: Taylor
Skillset 14: Restorative Care
Lab 4: Staupers
Skillset 16: Special Procedures
Lab 5: Barton
Skillset 19: Diseases & Conditions
Lab 6: Nightingale

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 (group session if more than 1 learner fails)
  • Fail a 2nd time, must meet 1:1 via Zoom with a nurse to review
  • Fail a 3rd time, involuntary disenrollment
  • Practicing and Getting Feedback: As Learners practice skills in Lab, they are video recorded using a NextStep provided device. Skill videos are played back during Lab so the Learner can review their performance using the NextStep Skill-Specific Scoring Checklist. If upon review, the Learner identifies mistakes were made, the Learner practices the skill again, re-recording their performance as needed until they are confident they have performed the skill in the video following the scoring checklist without mistake.
  • Submitting Skill Video for Evaluation: Once the Learner is confident their video is performed following the scoring checklist without mistake, they submit the skill video for official evaluation. The skill video is received by off-site nurse evaluators who review and score the skill video using the NextStep Skill-Specific Scoring Checklist.
  • Evaluation: Learners receive their evaluation score as “pass” or “fail” within 72 hours of submitting a video for evaluation. Every action on the scoring checklist is evaluated and scored individually. If an action is bolded, failing to perform it correctly results in automatic “fail”, even if all other steps have been performed correctly. 

    Learners must achieve an 85% or higher overall score to pass each skill video and be considered competent in skill performance. If the Learner receives a “pass”, no other action is required. If the Learner receives a “fail”, the evaluator provides feedback on each incorrectly performed action in the NextStep Skill-Specific Scoring Checklist and overall skill performance feedback. After the Learner reviews the feedback they must schedule an Open Lab to practice the skill again in and submit another skill video for evaluation.

2.3.3 Maximum Number of Skill Video Attempts for Evaluation: Learners must pass all skills within 3 submissions for evaluation. If a Learner needs to resubmit a skill video for evaluation a fourth time, they will be asked to enter into a Learning Agreement. See Section 3.9 for more information about Learning Agreements.

2.3.4 Open Lab: At Open Lab, the Learner has an opportunity to practice the failed skill video again,  re-record and submit the skill video for evaluation.

2.4 Clinical Requirements: Clinical is completed in-person at a local NextStep Clinical site which is typically a nursing home. During Clinical, Learners have  a chance to practice the skills they have learned in Theory and Lab in “real life” with those receiving care. Learners have a chance to shadow Clinical Instructors and receive feedback on skill performance.

Clinical is completed over two 8-hour days.

2.4.1 Eligibility for Clinical: Once a Learner completes Theory, passes all Lab skill videos, and submits documentation of  Clinical Prerequisites, the Learner is eligible to attend Clinical. These Clinical Prerequisites must be submitted and approved at least 7 business days before the scheduled Clinical time or the Clinical will be cancelled and the Learner will have to reschedule. If a Learner must be cancelled and rescheduled due to failure to submit Clinical Prerequisites on time, fees apply per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement.

2.4.2 Clinical Prerequisites: Learners are not allowed to attend Clinical and have direct patient contact in Clinical without submitting proof of Clinical Prerequisites. These requirements  are required either by law or the Clinical site itself. Learners will not be approved to attend Clinical unless documentation for 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.

2.4.3 Clinical Evaluation: Learners are evaluated on the ability to act in a professional manner and perform skills with those receiving care according to the Clinical Skills Checklist. Learners receive feedback about overall performance and areas to improve upon from the Clinical Instructor. If the Clinical Instructor observes any Learner actions that could place the Learner or a person receiving care in an unsafe situation, or behaviors that do not uphold the Clinical Code of Conduct (per 3.7), the Learner may be dismissed from Clinical or disenrolled from the Course after review by the Program Director.

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

3. Learner Conduct Policies

3.1 Twelve (12) Week Completion Requirement:  Learners must complete the Course including Theory, Lab, and Clinical within 12 weeks (or 84 calendar days) from their Registration Date.

Most learners  graduate within 8 weeks of registration. Completing the course within 8 weeks of registration increases the rate of success on the state proctored CNA certification exam and confidence on the job.

Learners who need more than 8 weeks to complete the course need to notify their mentor. If the learner needs to take  a planned break, the learner’s mentor must be notified and a date of return must be provided to the mentor. In no case, is a learner permitted to take more than 12 weeks from the date of registration to complete the course.

3.2 Mentor Communication Requirements: If a Learner is not on pace to graduate within the 12 week time requirement per Section 3.3 and is not responsive to their mentor after 10 consecutive business days of attempted contact via phone, sms, in app messaging, and/or email, Learners are sent an At Risk for Disenrollment Notice by email. This notice alerts the Learner that they must contact their mentor within 5 business days from the date of the email or the Learner will be involuntarily disenrolled. In case of disenrollment, tuition will be charged to the Learner per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement

3.3 Off Pace Policy: The following milestones identify if a Learner is on pace to graduate within 12 weeks from their Enrollment Date.

  • By week 8: All Clinical Prerequisites Completed & Lab Scheduled
  • By week 9: Clinical Scheduled
  • By week 10: Theory and Lab Complete

Learners who fail to meet any of these three milestones are considered “Off Pace” and are at high risk of not graduating within 12 weeks.

3.4 Lab Attendance Requirements

3.4.1 Rescheduling Lab: Learners can reschedule an individual Lab no more than 2 times. There are 6 individual Labs in the Course as noted in 2.3.1. In the event the Learner has used up the allotted 2 reschedule opportunities, the Learner will be involuntarily disenrolled from the Course.

Cancellation Fees related to rescheduling per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement apply. In the case of and disenrollment, tuition will be charged per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement.

3.4.2 Tardiness: If a Learner is more than 15 minutes late to Lab, they are not permitted to attend the Lab and must reschedule. Cancellation Fees per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement apply.

3.4.3 Early Departure: Each individual Lab is 4 hours and Learners are expected to stay for the entire 4-hour period. If a Learner needs to leave early due to an emergency, the Instructor will provide a plan for making up the exact amount of time and skills the Learner did not complete.

3.5 Clinical Attendance Requirements

3.5.1 Rescheduling Clinical: Learners can reschedule Clinical no more than 2 times. Clinical means the 2-day block of time that Clinical is scheduled. In the event the Learner has used up the allotted 2 reschedule opportunities, the Learner will be involuntarily disenrolled from the Course.

Cancellation Fees and tuition related to rescheduling and/or disenrollment per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement apply.

3.5.2 Tardiness:

  • Tardy 15 minutes or less: If the Learner is tardy 15 minutes or less from the start of the Clinical, the Learner 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.

    Learners can be tardy 15 minutes or less from the start of the Clinical one time only. If Learners are tardy beyond this one time, they cannot participate in the Clinical as scheduled and will have to reschedule the full clinical day. Cancellation Fees per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement apply.
  • Tardy more than 15 minutes:  If the Learner is more than 15 minutes tardy from the start of the Clinical, they cannot participate in the Clinical as scheduled and will have to reschedule. Cancellation Fees per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement apply.

3.5.3 Early Departure: Each Clinical day is 8 hours long with a thirty minute lunch break. Learners are expected to stay for the entire time. If a Learner needs to leave early due to an emergency, a plan will be created with the Learner for making up the missed time during another Clinical.

3.6 Confidentiality Requirements for Lab and Clinical

3.6.1 Confidentiality: All personal information Learners 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 Learners. Learners should report any violations they become aware of to NextStep staff.

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

3.7 Code of Conduct for Lab and Clinical:

3.7.1 General Requirement: Learners are expected to behave in an appropriate and professional manner during all interactions with other Learners, individuals receiving care, and NextStep staff including instructors, mentors, and Clinical site staff.

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

3.7.3 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 Learner 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 3.4 and 3.5. 
  • 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 video recording of Lab skills after receiving a warning from the instructor.
  • 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 including not recording required videos 
  • Not following all requirements of a fully executed Learning Agreement per 3.9. 
  • 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 CNA Scope of Practice. 
  • Not following constructive feedback from the instructor or other NextStep staff. 
  • Not following Lab and Clinical schedules, confirmed by NextStep,   including trading with another Learner without permission. 
  • 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 CNA 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.  

3.8 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.

3.9 Learning Agreement Policy

3.9.1 When is it used: Indicated when the instructor identifies the Learner has:

  • Failing a skill video 3 times per 2.3.3.
  • Failing more than 75% of the videos in one lab.
  • Failing more than 50% of all videos submitted for evaluation.
  • Inappropriate or unprofessional behavior per Section 3.7.3.

3.9.2 What is it: A digital document shared with the Learner to review and, if they agree to it, sign. This document includes the identified problem(s), needing corrective action, date that corrective action has to be achieved by, and consequences if the learning agreement is not followed.  If the Learner does not agree to the Learning Agreement, the Learner will be involuntarily disenrolled. If the Learner signs the learning agreement, but fails to meet all goals of the plan by the specified dates, they will be involuntarily disenrolled. 

In case of disenrollment, tuition will be charged to the Learner per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement . 

3.10 Disenrollment Policy

3.10.1 Voluntary Disenrollment: If a Learner chooses to voluntarily disenroll, they should contact their mentor or programdirector@nextstep.com  in writing and state that they want to disenroll. Tuition may be due in case of disenrollment per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement.

3.10.2 Involuntary Disenrollment: Learners are involuntarily disenrolled in the following circumstances:

  • Incomplete within 12 Weeks: See Section 3.1. 
  • Background Check identifies a disqualifying offense: See Section 1.3.1.
  • Failing Final Exam 3 times: See Section 2.3.2
  • Unprofessional and Inappropriate Behavior: See Section 3.7.
  • Failure to Maintain Learning Agreement: See Section 3.9.
  • Failure to Respond to Mentor Communication when Off Pace: See Section 3.3.
  • Exceeds Maximum Number of Times to Reschedule Lab or Clinical:  See Sections 3.4 and 3.5.

Learners who are involuntarily disenrolled are notified of disenrollment in writing by email. Tuition may be due in case of disenrollment per the NextStep End User Licensing Agreement . 

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

4. Tuition and Additional Cost Requirements

4.1 Tuition Tuition amounts and payment terms are set forth in the CNA  Training Course Terms. Please see Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the CNA Training Course Terms.

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 CNA Course Certificate of Completion.
  • Test Prep for the State CNA 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.
  • Physical exam per 2.4.2.

5. Placement Requirements

Terms and conditions regarding the NextStep Placement Program are set forth in the CNA  Training Course Terms. Please see Sections 2 and 4 of the CNA Training Course Terms.

Days to Complete Placement from Graduation:

Graduates who are on the placement track have 14 calendar days from date of graduation to be fully eligible for placement as a CNA. Failure to meet this 14 day requirement will result in re-classification of the graduate to tuition track in which case tuition will be owed. Exceptions can be made per the Program Coordinator’s discretion in instances where failure to meet the requirement is due to a NextStep oversight or similar, for example.

6. Other Policies

6.1 Grievance Policy: To file a grievance, Learners should put grievances in writing to programdirector@nextstep.com. The Program Director reviews  grievances and follow-ups with the Learner to gather needed information. 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 Learner.

6.2 Record Retention Policy: Learner records are maintained for seven years.

6.3 Holiday Closures Policy: NextStep Mentor support, Lab, and Clinical are closed for the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

6.4 Weather Related Closures: In the event of severe weather, decisions about cancelling 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 cancelled, NextStep notifies Learners by text, email, in-app chat, and/or phone until contact is made with the Learner or all channels for contact have been exhausted. 

6.5 Policy  Exceptions: Exceptions to Learner 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 Learner’s ability to complete a necessary action and the failure to complete this necessary action would otherwise result in disciplinary action or disenrollment. 

6.6 Lab and Clinical Availability Guarantee Policy: Lab and Clinical availability is not unlimited and NextStep cannot guarantee that Lab and Clinical dates and times will fit the Learner’s schedule preferences. NextStep works hard to offer Lab and Clinical on a variety of days (including weekdays and weekends) and hours (including morning, afternoon and evening). Learners are advised if they have limited schedule availability to participate in Lab and Clinical, the Learner needs to schedule Lab and Clinical as early as possible to have the best chance of scheduling a day and time that works for their schedule.

6.7 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.