Florida Caregiver Requirements: A Comprehensive Guide

Hey there, fellow Floridian. It’s no secret that Florida caregiver requirements are confusing. Let’s clear up any confusion about our home state’s regulations!

The Sunshine State is home to over 21 million people, many of whom require the care and support of dedicated caregivers. As a home health, home care, or hospice professional or someone new to caregiving, it’s crucial to understand the requirements. 

This guide will explore the various caregiver roles, initial onboarding training, and annual training requirements specific to Florida, and solutions to meet the requirements. So, let’s dive in!

florida caregiver requirements - caregiver and caretaker

Who’s Who? Defining Caregiver Roles in Florida

In Florida, caregivers are referred to by several titles, depending on their roles and responsibilities. Here’s a handy list of caregiver titles commonly used in the state:

  • Caregivers and Caretakers
  • Home Health Aides (HHAs)
  • Assisted Living Facility Staff
  • Direct Care Workers (for Alzheimer’s disease & related dementias)
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

Initial Onboarding Training Requirements

Before a caregiver can start working with patients, they must complete the required initial onboarding training, which varies depending on their job role. Below is a breakdown of the initial onboarding training hours for each caregiver role in Florida:

  • Caregivers – do not have initial training or competency requirements. However, there are some basic requirements. Read more on those below.
  • Home Health Aides (HHAs) with state-licensed agencies – 40 hours
  • Home Health Aides (HHAs) with Medicare-certified agencies – 75 hours
  • Assisted Living Staff – hours specific to topic areas and job role
  • Direct Care Workers (DCW) for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) – 2 hours
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNAs) – 120 hours

You might ask, “Which governing bodies oversee Florida caregiver requirements, and where can I read up on the initial requirements”? Again, let’s put together a helpful list with some links to help you understand which authorities establish the rules and regulations caregivers must adhere to and get you to the correct info. 

Read through those links to understand each role’s unique initial and ongoing Training requirements.

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Annual Training Requirements

To maintain their skills and ensure continued compliance, caregivers in Florida must complete a certain number of annual training hours. The requirements for annual Training vary based on the caregiver’s role:

  • Caregivers and Caretakers – do not have training or competency requirements.
  • Home Health Aides (HHAs) with state-licensed agencies – do not have an annual training requirement
  • Home Health Aides (HHAs) with Medicare-certified agencies – 12 hours
  • Assisted Living Staff – hours specific to topic areas and job role
  • Direct Care Workers (DCW) for ADRD – do not have an annual training requirement
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) – 24 hours every two years

Next, we’ll dive deeper in what it takes to meet the caregiver role in Florida.

Florida Caregiver Requirements

As discussed above, the Caregiver role in Florida does not require initial or ongoing training. However, some requirements must be met. Here are the must-haves to be a Florida Caregiver:

  1. Age and responsibility matter: You’ve got to be at least 18 years old, ready to offer a cozy, family-like environment, and eager to take on the responsibility of caring for someone’s social, physical, and emotional needs.
  2. Familiarity is key: Are you a relative or friend who’s been welcomed by the client as their chosen family? Or you’re a responsible grown-up who arranged with the client to offer home care services. If yes, then you’re on the right track!
  3. All hands on deck: You’re not just supervising from the sidelines; you’re actively engaged in arranging services and lending a helping hand to the person you care for.
  4. Home sweet home: Ensure the living space you provide is safe, clean, and free of any hazards that could put your client’s life, health, or well-being at risk. Read more about rule 58H-1.007.
  5. Clean record, clear conscience: You should have a squeaky-clean record with no history of abusing, neglecting, or exploiting others.

It’s worth your time to review Florida’s Caregiver Requirements in detail. Next, let’s get into the training requirements for both HHAs and CNAs, something Continua Learning specializes in. Let’s start with HHAs.

florida caregiver requirements - home health aide

Florida Home Health Aides Training Requirements

Initial Training Requirements

Typically, Home Health Aides that are working for Medicare-certified agencies will start with an agency after gaining a certificate from a 3rd party provider. 

For every home health aide working with a home health agency, records must prove they’ve completed at least 40 hours of Training in the required subject areas or successfully passed the home health aide competency test.

Here’s a handy table that matches Florida’s requirements with our in-service offerings for Florida home health aides. All of our CNA/HHA courses offer 1 CEU. In reality there’s quite a bit of crossover between HHA and CNA duties, therefore we’ve included those.

Florida RequirementContinua Learning Equivalent Course
Communication skillsCommunicating with Cognitively-Impaired Patients
Observation, reporting and documentation of patient or client status and the care or services providedDocumentation & Legal Aspects for Florida CNAs
Prevention of Medical Errors for Home Health Aides and CNAs
Reading and recording temperature, pulse and respirationVital Signs
Basic infection control proceduresInfection Control in the Home Care Workplace
Bloodborne Pathogens and Standard Precautions
Basic elements of body functions that must be reported to the registered nurse supervisorBasics of Body Functioning
Also, can include a number of more specific disease training for this
Maintenance of a clean and safe environmentMaintaining a Clean and Safe Environment
Driving and Workplace Safety and Injury Prevention
Recognition of emergencies and applicable follow-up within the home health aide scope of performanceEmergency Recognition and Follow-up
Physical, emotional, and developmental characteristics of the populations served by the agency, including the need for respect for the patient or client, his privacy, and his propertyHIPAA for Home Health
Appropriate and safe techniques in personal hygiene and grooming, including bed bath, sponge, tub, or shower bath; shampoo, sink, tub, or bed; nail and skin care; oral hygiene; care of denturesActivities of Daily Living for the Elderly
Personal Care
Care of The Skin
Safe transfer techniques, including use of appropriate
equipment, and ambulation
How to Transfer and Lift Patients Safely
Normal range of motion and positioningRange of Motion and Positioning
Nutrition and fluid intakeBasic Nutrition
Malnutrition and Dehydration
Cultural differences in familiesDiversity in the Home Care Workplace
Food preparation and household choresBasic Food Preparation
Other topics pertinent to home health aide servicesContinua Learning has dozens more in-services to meet this requirement

Alzheimer’s disease or other related disorders (ADRD) Training Requirements

When joining a home health agency, every new employee needs to be equipped with essential written information on how to interact with patients living with Alzheimer’s or dementia-related disorders. HHAs and CNAs are no exception.

Moreover, freshly hired staff members who’ll directly care for patients must complete a 2-hour training session on Alzheimer’s and dementia-related disorders within their first nine months. For certified nursing assistants, these 2 hours of training are included in their annual training hour requirements (ADRD: 400.4785).

Florida RequirementContinua Learning Course
2 hours of training in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia related disorders2 Hour Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorder (FL home health approved)

Ongoing Training Requirements

Home health aides working for agencies or nurse registries must take an HIV/AIDS course and maintain a CPR certification. Those employed by Medicare and Medicaid agencies need 12 hours of in-service training yearly, with the HIV/AIDS and CPR courses counting towards those hours.

An annual training plan for Florida HHAs might looks something like this based on the requirements:

Florida RequirementContinua Learning Course or Recommendation
Requirement to obtain and maintain a current certificate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)American Heart Association or the American Red Cross CPR certificate
HIV/AIDS trainingOverview of HIV
12 hours of annual in-service trainingContinua offers dozens of options, such as those in the above table and topics like:
Caring for Patients with Dementia
Caring for Patients with Diabetes
Seizures and Strokes
Elder Neglect and Abuse
Medication Safety
Pain Management
Psychosocial Care
Respiratory Disorders
Overview of Cancer Care
And many more!
florida caregiver requirements - certified nursing assistant

Florida Certified Nursing Assistant Training Requirements

Initial Training Requirement

CNAs in Florida have two paths to get accredited with a license. Here’s what the Florida Board of Nursing says: To become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) by Examination, pass the background check and meet one of these requirements:

  1. Complete an approved training program, then score the minimum required on the nursing assistant competency exam (both written and skills portions).
  2. Score the minimum required on the competency exam (written and skills portions) if you have a high school diploma (or equivalent) or are at least 18.
  3. Finish the curriculum under the Enterprise Florida Jobs and Education Partnership Grant and score the minimum required on the competency exam (written and skills portions).

Next, let’s take a look at the annual training requirements for CNAs in Florida.

Ongoing Training Requirements

The Florida Board of Nursing regulates CNAs and what they need to learn. As floridanursing.gov says, “All CNAs must finish at least 24 hours of in-service training every two years.” There are specific topics they can’t skip. Let’s dive into those areas and see how they align with Continua Learning.

Florida Board of Nursing RequirementContinua Learning Course or Recommendation
Bloodborne Pathogens, Infection ControlInfection Control: HAI, Handwashing, Bloodborne, Airborne/Contact/Droplet, PPE, Infectious Waste
Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence and Elder Abuse for Home Care (2hr)
Elder Neglect and Abuse (1hr)
Medical Record Documentation and Legal Aspects Appropriate to Nursing AssistantsDocumentation & Legal Aspects for Florida CNAs
Resident RightsPatient Rights and Advance Directives
Communication with cognitively impaired clientsAddressing Communication Barriers
Communicating with Cognitively-Impaired Patients
CPR skillsAmerican Heart Association or the American Red Cross CPR certificate
Medical Error Prevention and SafetyPrevention of Medical Errors for Home Health Aides and CNAs
Additional training to meet the 24 hour every two yearsContinua offers 100s of additional home health, home care, and hospice courses with over 500 CEUs
florida caregiver requirements annual training plans

Meeting Florida Caregiver Requirements with Confidence

If you’re an agency manager or director, ensuring your team meets Florida’s caregiver requirements is crucial. By creating a solid system to manage caregiver training, you’ll comply with state regulations and empower your caregivers to excel. Here are some handy tips to effectively manage caregiver training:

Embrace an Online Training Solution

We’re biased, but investing in a mobile-ready, online solution tailored for home health and hospice agencies to organize and track training for all caregivers is the best way to meet your requirements. A top-notch solution will have the relevant content and features your agency needs to streamline the process

Create Caregiver Training Plans

Make meeting annual training requirements a breeze by creating training plans with specific due dates or drip feed your training each month to staff. Mix in-person workshops and online courses for a well-rounded training experience (just be sure you have an online solution that can track in-person training too!)

florida caregiver requirements online training

Create Training Courses

Training providers offer 100s of courses to help meet your needs, but you’ll likely want to train your caregivers on your unique care techniques. Always choose an online training provider that offers custom course creation services as part of the online solution. 

Communicate Expectations

Ensure every caregiver understands the training expectations and requirements by including this information in onboarding materials and discussing it during team meetings or evaluations. Keeping everyone on the same page is key!

Tailor Training to Specific Roles

Remember, training requirements vary based on the caregiver’s role. Group your caregivers based on their job duties and craft targeted training plans accordingly. 

Keep an Eye on Training Compliance

Regularly run reports in your solution to confirm all caregivers meet their requirements. Consistent reporting helps maintain compliance and allows you to address any gaps.

By following these tips, you’ll confidently meet Florida caregiver requirements while fostering a well-trained and knowledgeable team ready to provide exceptional care.

Final Word on Florida Caregiver Requirements

Understanding and meeting Florida caregiver requirements is essential to running a successful home health, home care, or hospice agency. By familiarizing yourself with the various caregiver roles, initial onboarding training, and annual training requirements, you can ensure your agency remains compliant and provides high-quality patient care.


How do I get a Caregiver License in Florida?

In Florida, caregiver licenses are managed at the state level. To become a licensed caregiver, individuals must meet specific training and certification requirements, which vary depending on the type of caregiving role.

Do You Need a License to Be a Caregiver in Florida?

Yes, in Florida, a license is required for certain types of caregiving roles, especially those involving medical or personal care. The specific requirements depend on the nature of the caregiver’s duties and the setting in which they work.

What Florida Caregiver Training Do I Need?

Caregiver training in Florida is essential to ensure quality care. The state mandates specific training programs for different caregiving roles, focusing on patient safety, basic care procedures, and understanding of health conditions.

How do I Become a Home Health Aide in Florida?

To become a Home Health Aide in Florida, one must complete a state-approved training program, which includes both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience, followed by a competency evaluation.

How do I Become a Certified Caregiver in Florida?

Becoming a certified caregiver in Florida involves completing a state-approved education program, passing a background check, and meeting any additional requirements specific to the caregiver’s desired role.

What are the Florida CNA Requirements?

To become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Florida, candidates must complete a state-approved nursing assistant training program and pass the Florida CNA exam. Additionally, they must meet other criteria like a background check and continuing education.

Can a family member get paid to be a caregiver in Florida?

Absolutely! In Florida, there’s a program called the Paid Family Caregiver Program that offers financial support to eligible family members who provide care for their loved ones at home. This program helps reduce the financial burden on families and ensures that their loved ones receive personalized care in a familiar and comfortable environment. To find out if you’re eligible and learn more about the program, contact your local Area Agency on Aging or visit the Florida Department of Elder Affairs website.

How do I become a paid caregiver for a family member in Florida?

Becoming a paid caregiver for a family member in Florida involves a few key steps. Let’s break it down for you:

  1. Assess eligibility: First, you’ll need to check if your family member qualifies for financial assistance programs, such as Florida’s Paid Family Caregiver Program or Medicaid. These programs have specific eligibility criteria, including income limits and medical needs.
  2. Get trained: Depending on your family member’s needs, you may need to complete a caregiver training program to ensure you’re equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. Training can vary from basic caregiving courses to more specialized programs, like those for dementia care.
  3. Apply for financial assistance: Once you’ve determined that your family member is eligible for financial support, you’ll need to apply for the relevant program. This may involve submitting an application, providing proof of your relationship, and demonstrating your ability to provide care.
  4. Follow program guidelines: Each financial assistance program has its own set of rules and regulations. To receive payment as a family caregiver, you’ll need to adhere to these guidelines, which may include regular check-ins with a case manager, documenting your caregiving duties, and participating in ongoing training. Check Florida’s Caregiver Assistance Program for more details.
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Kendra Sanders

🏥 I have a passion for helping agencies find the best learning solutions for their unique needs. Let's explore home care & hospice topics and strive to improve patient care. Plant momma 🌱, hiker 🥾 & foodie 🍲.