Nurse assessment coordinators could start leaving long-term care facilities in waves and the resulting shortages would leave nursing homes struggling to capture full reimbursement, new research suggests.

A survey of more than 14,000 NACs found that the group had seen a “sharp increase” in their time on the floor and coverage of additional job functions. The analysis also found that NACs are being pulled to the floor at more than twice the rate as reported in 2017 when 20% said they were pulled. Now, the figure is  50%. Additionally,  68% of NACs are serving in additional job roles within their facilities.

The American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing reported the results of its survey Thursday, revealing that 40% of respondents said they plan on changing jobs within the next 12 months.

Another 59% said the most challenging part of their job is the staffing shortage. Half of all respondents rated staff turnover, stress/burnout and workload as either considerably or substantially challenging. 

“This level of turnover will have an impact on reimbursement,” explained Amy Stewart, MSN, RN, AAPACN’s vice president of curriculum development. “Brand new NACs will need time for training and education to code accurately.”

Stewart added the analysis also revealed a trend that the director of nursing staff turnover may be influencing how NACs view their jobs. 

“More than half of NACs have experienced turnover in leadership in the last 12 months,” she explained. “Of those, NACs who report to the DON were significantly more likely to respond that they plan to change jobs (31%) than those who report to the administrator (18%).”