Louisiana Nursing Home Staffing Laws

The state of Louisiana complies with federal regulations regarding adequate staffing for nursing homes in its jurisdiction. The Louisiana Administrative Code, Nursing Homes-Minimum Licensure states, "There shall be sufficient qualified personnel to properly operate each department of the nursing home to assure the health, safety, proper care, and treatment of the residents." This code defines specific minimums for nursing personnel, dietetic staff, activities services, social services and administrative services.

Nursing Staff

Louisiana nursing homes must provide nursing personnel sufficient for meeting minimum standards of care. Nursing staff include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses and certified nursing assistants.

All Louisiana nursing homes must have adequate nursing personnel to provide 24-hour care. For each patient in a nursing home, 1.5 hours of nursing care must be provided daily, at a minimum.

A licensed nurse must be on duty 24 hours per day to serve as the charge nurse. A charge nurse is responsible for the supervision of nursing staff for the entire nursing home or for a specific unit within the building.

A registered nurse must be designated as the full-time director of nursing. Nursing homes that house no more than 60 patients may allow the director of nursing to serve as the charge nurse. A second registered nurse must be employed to direct the care of patients when the director of nursing has nonnursing administrative duties on a regular basis.

Food and Nutrition Services

Nursing homes in Louisiana must have adequate dietary staff to prepare and deliver meals in a timely, regular and sanitary way. Nursing homes must also employ personnel who are capable of ensuring nutritional standards are met.

A licensed dietitian must be employed full time, part time or on a consultant basis. Dietitians employed on a consultant basis must provide no less than eight hours per month of consultation.

A full-time dietary manager must be employed if the dietitian is not employed full-time.

Additional Personnel

A nursing home administrator, licensed in the state of Louisiana, must be employed full time. A second full-time employee must be designated to act on behalf of the administrator in his absence.

The home must appoint a resident activities director to ensure residents have a program of activities in place thats meet their interests and needs.

Homes must ensure social services for residents by designating an employee capable of providing such services.