Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nursing Assistant Workforce Facing Financial, Health Challenges

Date:
May 14, 2009
Source:
The Gerontological Society of America
Summary:
A pioneering study of certified nursing assistants in nursing homes reveals that more than half of them incurred at least one work-related injury in the previous year. One in three received some kind of means-tested public assistance, and nearly half of those without medical insurance claimed they could not afford their employer-sponsored plan.

A pioneering study of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in nursing homes reveals that more than half of them incurred at least one work-related injury in the previous year. One in three received some kind of means-tested public assistance, and nearly half of those without medical insurance claimed they could not afford their employer-sponsored plan.

Related Articles


These statistics, gathered from the first-ever National Nursing Assistant Survey (NNAS), are presented in an article appearing in the latest issue of The Gerontologist (Vol. 49, No. 2). The lead author is Senior Policy Analyst Marie Squillace, PhD, of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The care of 1.5 million elderly and chronically ill persons in the United States is largely in the hands of nursing assistants — the individuals who provide eight out of every ten hours of care residents receive in nursing homes. Turnover of these direct care workers is high, which profoundly decreases the quality of life and care of the residents,” Squillace said.

Many reports — most prominently the Institute of Medicine’s 2008 “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce” — project there will be a shortage of CNAs in coming years. The federally-funded NNAS can be used to develop a strong evidence base for policy, practice, and research initiatives to improve nursing assistant recruitment and retention efforts.

“The NNAS is useful for improving data quality and bridging knowledge gaps. As the only national database on CNAs in nursing homes, the NNAS will improve our current understanding of a vital job,” states Squillace’s team of researchers. Previous studies had only examined local or regional samples that were not representative of the country as a whole.

The survey results are based on the responses of 3,017 nursing-home based CNAs. To be eligible to participate in the NNAS, a nursing assistant had to be employed by a nursing home (and not as a contract worker); be certified by the state to provide Medicare/Medicaid reimbursable service; be a speaker of English or Spanish; and be employed more than 16 hours per week.

Slightly more than half (56 percent) reported they were injured on the job at least once in the previous year. Of those who were injured, almost one quarter were unable to work for at least one day as a result.

Approximately 16 percent had no health insurance; 42 percent of that group cited cost as the reason. Years of experience did not translate into higher wages among CNAs. Those with ten or more years of experience averaged just $2 per hour more than aides who started working in the field less than one year ago. The reported median hourly wage was $10.04.

As many as 40 percent of CNAs had at some point in their lives received public benefits (e.g., food stamps, rental subsidies, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families); almost one third were currently receiving this type of aid at the time of the survey. Additionally, the vast majority of the survey respondents (92 percent) were female.

“These and other forthcoming results will figure prominently in federal and state labor, welfare, and health policy discussions on expanding the pool of workers and on reimbursement policy, regulation policy, and program design,” Squillace said. “Ultimately, this will lead to improvements in the quality of life and care of older Americans in U.S. nursing homes.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Gerontological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Marie R. Squillace, Robin E. Remsburg, Lauren D. Harris-Kojetin, Anita Bercovitz, Emily Rosenoff, and Beth Han. The National Nursing Assistant Survey: Improving the Evidence Base for Policy Initiatives to Strengthen the Certified Nursing Assistant Workforce. The Gerontologist, 2009; 49 (2): 185 DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnp024
  2. Joshua M. Wiener, Marie R. Squillace, Wayne L. Anderson, and Galina Khatutsky. Why Do They Stay? Job Tenure Among Certified Nursing Assistants in Nursing Homes. The Gerontologist, 2009; 49 (2): 198 DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnp027

Cite This Page:

The Gerontological Society of America. "Nursing Assistant Workforce Facing Financial, Health Challenges." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514111408.htm>.
The Gerontological Society of America. (2009, May 14). Nursing Assistant Workforce Facing Financial, Health Challenges. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514111408.htm
The Gerontological Society of America. "Nursing Assistant Workforce Facing Financial, Health Challenges." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514111408.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins