Hundreds of CNAs march to protest nursing shortage, Medicaid cuts

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About 500 certified nursing assistants from nursing homes throughout the country rallied in Washington on Thursday to draw attention to the nursing shortage. They also decried possible effects of pending Medicaid cuts on facilities and residents.

Sporting pictures of their favorite residents, the nursing assistants marched from the Capitol to the Taft Memorial. One purpose of the rally was "to put a face on what the cuts would do to their residents," said Alexis Starkey, spokeswoman for the National Association of Geriatric Nursing Assistants, which held the rally.

Congress expects to cut $10 billion from the Medicaid program. Nurses are opposed to the cuts, which they believe will reduce the quality of care for residents. Medicaid is already under funded and prevents them from earning a living wage, they believe. Nurses also expressed opposition to pending therapy caps.