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Licensee FAQ's

You're in the right place... just click on your question below and the answer will be revealed.  That's not saying you'll always like the answer, but it is the answer, nonetheless...

If you're a Preceptor, you MAY wish to look also at the Applicant FAQs to be better able to help your AIT(s).  

We do not accept checks OR cash
All payments are made online (credit card or debit card). 

So, that's the short answer - now the "explanation" for "why" we don't take checks or cash is a little longer.  It all relates to the fact that we're a small agency.  Over the course of being audited (which is not too unlike a facility getting a "survey" or some other type of "inspection" in other vernaculars...) we were being told that our handling of cash and checks was always sub-optimal.  According to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) it requires at least 4 people to properly handle and document the handling of cash and checks.  So, we were unable to meet that standard with only 3 people in our office.  We then just asked the question - how do we fix this "finding" that keeps coming up in our audits?  The State Auditor informed us that we could simply use the online payment system (which works well and has no issues) and stop taking cash and checks, so circa the summer of 2015 (yes, that long ago...) we stopped taking cash and checks and started requiring everyone to pay all fees (and fines) online and we also have approval from the State's GTARB to assess the bank and online fees rather than absorbing them.  So, that's WHY we don't accept checks or cash

People who don't have a credit/debit card are relatively rare (fortunately) but in the event such a person presents themselves, they CAN get a prepaid debit card commercially and use that.  The "caution" there is that if you're doing that, you need to do a little extra research to know what the additional online and transaction fees are.  For instance, the application fee is $100 so if you get a card for $100, it will not be sufficient to pay your application fee which has additional fees added to it.  

CAA stands for "Certified Assistant Administrator" and not only is it an Oklahoma-unique entity, it is also limited to being used in nursing facilities... and ONE CAA cannot function in this capacity unless there exists another. 

The original idea behind a CAA was to give a NHA (Nursing Home Administrator) the ability/legal authority to serve as the "Administrator-of-Record" (AOR) of more than one nursing facility simultaneously.   It was created primarily for the rural areas of our state.  In addition to the limitation that there must be a CAA at each such facility when there is a single AOR (having ONE CAA at one facility and a supervisor NHA at another without a CAA is NOT the proper use of a CAA per the Nursing Home Care Act... See Title 63, section 1-1943.1) there are also mileage restrictions between the facilities and a limited number of occupied beds in those combined facilities.  The AOR also has supervisory requirements of how many hours they are required to spend (minimum) in each facility and limits on how long they can go between being at the facility.  

They are NOT used in Residential Care, Assisted Living or Adult Day Care Facilities nor are they used in ICF/IIDs.  They are limited to nursing facilities and strictly under these other restrictions.

This does NOT preclude a NHA from having an "Administrator Assistant" or "Administrative Assistant" on his/her staff (which may actually be titled differently - such as a business office manager).  Assisting the Administrator and being a CAA are two different things...

TYPICALLY, one does NOT pursue being certified as a CAA and then go find a job.  Typically, it works the other way... the owner and administrator typically identify an employee in some other role in the facility who they identify to become a CAA and they will offer them the opportunity to attend the training and become certified and eventually come back and (with another CAA) serve in this capacity in one of their facilities.  There are only about 40 such people certified in the entire state.


It's pretty natural for Administrators to want to "give back" to the profession and help train future administrators and that's done by being a Preceptor (primarily in the NHA world).  There is no AIT requirement in the other areas so there's no demand for being a Preceptor but that doesn't mean you cannot take the training, but only qualified NHAs are eligible to be certified currently.  

If you've been an Administrator (NHA only at this time) for at least 24 months (2 years) and there's no "order" that says you cannot be a Preceptor (discipline issue), then you're eligible.  You would simply take the training (online - 5 CEUS, NAB approved) and then apply with us to be certified.  The certification is initially good for 2 years (from the date approved - not calendar year like your license) but IF you guide an AIT through the program, in addition to earning CEUs for doing that, that expiration date is also extended by one year.  We have more information for Preceptors on our website at a couple of different places.  You also earn CEUs for the time you spend with AITs...

Well over 99% of our licenses are renewed annually, due by December 31 of each year.  This also applies to the certifications of CAAs.  

We start renewals at the first of November and you can renew by going through the Portal and paying with a credit/debit card.  We've actually added a new "FAQ" document that addresses several "normal" (not Temp, Provisional or Preceptor) RENEWAL questions and have even explained some of the "technical" issues that seem to come up.  We hope it's helpful.

The other VERY FEW licenses that do NOT expire on December 31:
Temporary Licenses - those are set to expire at the next Board meeting after they're issued when a "permanent" license is expected to be issued.  Note that not everyone is eligible for a Temporary License and that they do cost an additional license fee for those qualified who wish to have one issued.  
Provisional Licenses - those expire 6 months after they're issued and it's "expected" that the licensee will be finishing their qualifications and should be issued a "permanent" license within that time frame.  They're rarely issued and not everyone is eligible for one.  

Preceptor Certifications are also "oddities" in that they are issued and expire either 2 or 3 years after issuance (not on a calendar year but from the date issued).  Renewals are not like renewing a license but require completion of the training again (think of it as a refresher course).  

You don't have to renew... AND you can avoid the MANY reminders (harassing emails, some might say...) you get TO renew by filling out THIS SIMPLE FORM and emailing it to us to "waive" all those notifications (even after the license has lapsed).  We don't intend (or want) to be a pest or to nag you to renew... if you plan to NOT renew, sending us this form (email address is on the form) is the approved solution... it relieves our staff from making notifications and from the Board having to approve the vacating of the license and getting approval from the Attorney General's office for the vacating of the license.  It's a "win-win" for all of us if you take a minute to fill out this form (linked above) and send it to us.  

The Link to this form (above) brings it up in a webpage format (that is "warped" due to some html formatting apparently...) but if you notice, there is a PDF file "downloaded" that you can click on and open in the lower left of your browser... THAT is the one you should complete (it's fillable online) and email to us.  Hope this helps...

You can change your mind right up to midnight on 12/31... but after that, if you don't renew, your license will be vacated.  IF you decide to renew it prior to that, you should be able to.  If you decide after 12/31 (but before the first meeting of the year), you will not get instructions for what is required from us (if you changed your mind late, it would be best to call probably...).  After that first meeting, it's too late to renew.  If there's ANY chance that you're coming back to the profession, we always recommend keeping the license and updating your CE... it's a lot easier to KEEP the license than it is to re-apply (state test is usually if you've been out of the field too long...) and get a new one issued.  There are a lot of people who will tell you they wish they'd listened to that sage advice because they did come back to the, be 100% sure you're retiring or changing careers permanently or whatever the reason is you're moving on.  You can thank us for the advice later.   

You do NOT have to wait until the renewal cycle is open (typically November 1...) to "opt out" of renewing your license for next year... if you made the decision, you can do this at any time (after 8/15/2023 when this new rule goes into effect...) and we will remove you from the email notices entirely.  An active license will remain "active" until it expires at the end of the year.

We thank you, in advance, for using this form (linked above) to help us out and hope you appreciate not getting your inbox stuffed full of reminders, too.  

This is one of those MYTHS that won't go away... unfortunately.

The origin of the myth is in the definition of an administrator where it states that administrators are required to be in direct supervision 1/2 of their, some employers incorrectly interpret this to mean they can hire an Administrator to work for them for 20 hours... THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE.  

WHEN YOU'RE THE ADMINISTRATOR OF RECORD (AOR) - your license is hanging at the facility 24/7 and you are ultimately responsible for everything that goes on in that facility 24/7.  It is a full-time job.  Period.  The fact that it is a full-time job is also why (in nursing facilities) that one cannot serve simultaneously as AOR and DON because BOTH are pretty clearly full-time jobs.  When your license is on that wall as the AOR, there's no such thing as part-time.  What the definition is inferring is that Administrators are expected to be out from behind their desk at least half of the direct supervision, seeing what's going on.  Managing by walking around...leading by example, even.  It is not a minimum number of hours a facility is expected to employ an administrator.  

IF that employer is the AOR or has someone else in the role of AOR with a license... that's the only time you should be willing to accept "part time" employment as an administrator... more of a "manager on duty" or perhaps an Assistant Administrator, but the AOR is the one who is ultimately responsible for what occurs in that facility 24/7.   

We look forward to the day when we don't have to explain this to someone... a part-time AOR?  Well, that's a clear disconnect.  There's no such thing.  And when you stop and think about it, you KNOW this is correct.  It doesn't make sense and that's why people call and ask when something like this is offered to them...they know it's wrong but they can't seem to put their finger on "why" it's wrong.  Perhaps this helps.

This appears to us to be an oversight in the laws governing long-term care facilities... there is no actual guidance to be found on this question.  

When surveyors come to a facility that does not have an administrator, they're going to be looking for some sort of proof that the facility was ACTIVELY searching for an administrator.  There ARE administrators who have found this as their "niche" to be that "interim" administrator at facilities around the state while those facilities are searching for the "permanent" solution.  And OSBELTCA keeps a list of resume's of "Administrators seeking employment."  

Like Administrators can have a reputation and employers steer away from some of them for various reasons, employers also have reputations and, by word of mouth, administrators will also steer clear of them.  Employers interpret this as a "shortage of administrators" but the fact of the matter is that there is NO SHORTAGE of administrators in Oklahoma...  In Nursing Facilities, for instance, the number of administrators over the past 12 years (plus) has remained steady or even increased (it's odd to see that the number of those who do not renew annually are magically replaced by new licensees almost perfectly nearly every year... our highest numbers of renewals over the last 15 years for NHAs was in the 2020-2023 renewal years).  And while the number of nursing facilities is actually decreasing (nursing homes are closing...) and the Health Department has not issued a new Certificate of Need for several years (15+), the beds have not decreased but are being coupled with existing facilities... so actually, facilities are getting larger and there are fewer facilities so the demand for NHAs has actually declined...  Unlike nursing which requires a minimum ratio of caregivers to residents, there is only ONE administrator per facility.  Nursing is short - nurses, aides.  This is valid.  But, it is NOT valid to assert that the same shortage applies to administrators when you realize that the number of facilities is decreasing while the number of administrators has increased even slightly or held steady.  You cannot apply the same logic to nursing staff as you can to the role of administrator when you assert there is a shortage.  If a facility cannot find an administrator... something else is apparently more likely to be wrong with their management practices perhaps (they're not attractive to licensed administrators for some reason).  And while homes are getting bigger, that also means they're harder to staff and are more complex in many other ways... so, you really have to wonder why anyone would think that it's also a good time to lower the standards for the profession.    

Last Modified on Aug 21, 2023