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Why Would Anyone Want To Work In A Nursing Home?

There is a general assumption that the more you work you put into your career, the more opportunities you will have for advancement.  That is, unless you are certified nursing assistant (CNA) at a nursing home.  A new study published in The Gerontologist paints a relatively bleak work future for CNA’s working in nursing homes today.

The National Nursing Assistant Survey sampled 3,017 CNA’s working in nursing homes.  CNA’s were surveyed in: recruitment, education, training and licensure, job history, family life, management and supervision, client relations, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, workplace environment and work related injuries.

The survey outcomes leave me wondering– ‘why would anyone want to be a CNA in a nursing home?’ Why Would Anyone Want To Work In A Nursing Home?Among the survey results:

  • One in three CNA’s receives some form of public assistance
  • Over 50% of the CNA’s suffered at least one work-place injury over the course of the last year
  • Work-related injuries required 25% of the nursing to take time off from work
  • 42% of the CNA’s not participating in their employers sponsored insurance plan due to the fact they could not afford to participate
  • Experience means nothing— well almost– in terms of pay, CNA’s with 10 year or more job experience earn just $2.00 more per hour than their counterparts with just began working in the industry

My guess is that the inherent ‘problems’ with the job force urgently needed CNA’s into more lucrative areas.  More experienced CNA’s will undoubtedly leave their current positions until the industry chooses to put a premium on improving working conditions for this under-paid, and injury-prone group. Consequently, too few highly-skilled CNA’s will remain to care for the growing nursing home population.

At the end of the day, who can blame them?

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The National Nursing Assistant Survey: Improving the Evidence Bast for Policy Initiatives to Strengthen The Certified Nursing Assistant Workforce, The Gerontologist, Vol. 49 No. 2, 185-197

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