Fewer nursing homes offer CNA training, report finds

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Between 1997 and 2007, the number of nursing homes providing training and certification programs for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) fell by more than a third, according to a recent report.

Researchers at Brown University's Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research learned that 24.4% of nursing homes offered CNS training and certification programs in 2007, compared with 37.6% in 1997. More than half of all CNAs (51.2%) reviewed in the study received their training at community college and paid the entire cost. As many as 80% of CNAs trained in nursing homes paid nothing for their training, according to the report. Researchers collected administrative data for more than 15,000 nursing homes across the United States and reviewed information from the National Nursing Assistant Survey for their study.

Forcing potential CNAs to seek training outside a nursing home at their own expense will likely provide a disincentive for anyone considering the profession, according to report authors. CNA recruitment is one of the biggest staffing issues facing nursing homes since CNAs typically provide a significant majority of nursing home care. The report was published in a recent edition of The Gerontologist.

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