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AMDA In The News

April 10, 2024

McKnight's Long-Term Care News

Providers would be wise to help certified nursing assistants advance in their careers, according to an article in Caring for the Ages, a publication of AMDA–The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

“One promising concept involves career ladders and lattices,” wrote Joanne Kaldy, senior contributor. “As a CNA, ladders enable you to pursue opportunities to move ‘up the ladder’ into other positions, such as licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), or administrator. Alternatively, the career lattice is attractive if you want to continue working as a nurse assistant but want opportunities to expand.”

Kaldy spoke with Claire Enright, executive director of the California Association of Health Facilities’ Quality Care Health Foundation, and Lori Porter, CEO and co-founder of the National Association of Health Care Assistants, about how providers can help CNAs expand their workforce opportunities. CAHF is a state affiliate of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living.

Enright noted that QCHF’s CNA UpSkilling Program is “designed to provide CNAs with the chance to advance through recognized levels of achievement based on their completed micro-certification modules and work experience.” Employers are welcome to use some or all of the program.

Those micro-certifications could be earned by new workers every six months, each one providing them with a certified skill in areas such as dementia care, behavioral health or soft skills like workplace leadership. Those certifications would be transferable between participating employers in California, and each one would come with an incremental wage increase.

“One key aspect of the program,” Enright told the publication, “is that when experienced CNAs are hired, they come in at the level they left their old job and aren’t treated like novices or first-time CNAs.”