5-Step Enrollment for Long-term Care Facilities

The below steps serve as a guide for Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs) enrolling in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

Once a facility is registered with NHSN, users can then continue with the NHSN enrollment process for the facility using a SAMS authentication token. This requires the installation of an Entrust Authenticator application on a device or a hard token which is a physical Entrust grid card mailed to your home address. If the designated NHSN facility user has not previously registered with SAMS and received an authenticated token, the user must complete the identity verification process with SAMS prior to gaining access to continue with the NHSN enrollment process for the facility.

A facility should only enroll once into the LTCF Component. Once a facility is enrolled, additional options become available, such as adding additional users and enrolling in additional Components.

Step 1: Enrollment Preparation
users working with a laptop
  1. Review required  LTCF Enrollment Guidance [PDF – 1 MB].
    Note: The LTCF Enrollment Training slides [PDF – 4 MB] serve as a detailed guide through the enrollment process.
  2. Check trusted websites and spam blocker settings.
    • Please use the supported browsers, Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.
      Note: Microsoft Windows Users: Microsoft is moving away from supporting Internet Explorer 11 (IE) in 2021. Do not use Internet Explorer when accessing NHSN.
    • Add cdc.gov and verisign.com to your list of trusted websites and permit pop-ups for these sites in the browser.
    • Check spam-blocker settings to allow emails from NHSN@cdc.gov, SAMS-NO-REPLY@cdc.gov.
    • For information regarding System requirements visit: FAQs About NHSN | NHSN | CDC.

Time to complete Step 1: 40 minutes

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Step 2: Register Facility with NHSN
Read and agree to the NHSN Rules of Behavior. You will then be redirected to electronically register your facility with NHSN.
Note: The NHSN Facility Contact form [PDF – 80 KB] may be used to manually collect required registration information prior to electronically entering the data into NHSN.

Time to complete step 2: 10 minutes

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After registration, you will receive two emails: ‘Welcome to NHSN!’ (immediately from NHSN)
and ‘Invitation to Register with SAMS’ (from SAMS-no-reply within 24 hours).

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Step 3a: Register with SAMS Partner Portal
register with SAMS

You will receive an email from the “U.S. Centers for Disease Control: SAMS Partner Portal – Invitation to Register.” It will include a web link to the SAMS registration page along with your assigned SAMS Partner Portal User ID (email address) and a temporary password. Please click on the link and enter the SAMS Partner Portal User ID and temporary password when prompted. Then follow the onscreen instructions to register and accept the SAMS Rules of Behavior.

Note: After being invited to SAMS, you have 30 days to complete the registration process.

Time to complete step 3a: 15 minutes

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Step 3b: Identity Proofing Verification (if applicable)
users working with a laptop

After successful online registration, you will receive an “Identity Verification Request” email from SAMS with instructions and a request to provide proof of your identity. SAMS supports two options for validating your identity using the New online preferred method Experian or the current secured document submission process.

*Please follow the instructions carefully for your selected identity verification option, to ensure timely processing.


Time to complete step 3b: 35 minutes

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Step 4: Access Approval and Account Activation

Once your information is received and approved, you will receive your approval by email from sams-no-reply@cdc.gov. The subject will be “U.S. Centers for Disease Control: SAMS Partner Portal – SAMS Activity Authorization.” This email will contain web links to access the SAMS Partner Portal and application.

The NHSN application requires users to be strongly authenticated. This means users must have an additional ‘token’, along with their password, to log in. The first option is a soft token that requires the installation of an Entrust Authenticator application on your phone, tablet, or computer. The second option is a hard token which is a physical Entrust grid card mailed to your home address. SAMS will communicate this authentication requirement to you in this email along with instructions on how to complete the setup after account activation.

Note: Your SAMS grid card should be delivered to your home address via U.S. mail within 2 weeks after you receive your SAMS approval email. If you do not receive your SAMS grid card within two weeks, contact samshelp@cdc.gov for assistance.

Time to complete step 4: 40 minutes

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Step 5a: Complete NHSN Enrollment

After setting up your credential device (via token or receiving your SAMS grid card), login to SAMS. Under the SAMS Multi-factor Login picture, click Login. On the SAMS home page, select ‘NHSN Enrollment’ to complete electronic enrollment into the Long Term Care Facility Component.

Note: Facility registration information may be manually collected using the NHSN Facility Contact [PDF – 80 KB] and Annual Facility Survey [PDF – 80 KB] forms prior to electronically entering the data into NHSN.

Time to complete step 5a: 40 minutes

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Shortly after successfully submitting the forms, the Facility Administrator
and Primary Contact will receive a “NHSN Facility Enrollment Submitted” email.

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Step 5b: Accept “NHSN Agreement to Participate and Consent”
sign and send consent

Either the component primary contact or NHSN facility administrator must login to SAMS, select Long-term Care Facility Component and review the “Agreement to Participate and Consent”.  Check the box to ‘Accept’ next to the appropriate contact name and then ‘Submit’. An email will be issued confirming this action.

Note: The consent form must be accepted within 60 days or the facility will be withdrawn.

Time to complete step 5b: 5 minutes


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Congratulations, enrollment is complete!
Complete NHSN Long-term Care Facility specific training if not previously completed.

Continue to NHSN Set-up (required before entering data into NHSN)