Staff Shortages

To maintain staffing levels at nursing homes early in the pandemic, the Trump administration waived a rule that limited employment for uncertified nursing aides to just four months. But to ensure better care for residents, the Biden administration reinstated the training requirement, effective June 7. Center for Medicare Advocacy reported many states allowed certification waivers requiring little training beyond an eight-hour online course.

Untrained nursing aides have until Oct. 7 to complete the mandatory 75-hour training and pass a state certification test. Nursing aide training encompasses numerous areas, including: medication side effects, skin integrity, dementia care, how to respond to emergencies, infection control, basic nursing and personal care skills, and residents’ rights.

Even before COVID-19, the median staff turnover at U.S. nursing homes was nearly 100%, Staff turnover is unsustainable. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) leaving the industry faster than they can be replaced.

Too many facilities have unsafe staffing levels causing significant harm. Many employees in this field are simply underpaid. Many are also burned out and getting way too little help.