Advocates for Georgia's Elderly Since 1953

Workforce

Recruitment and retention of a competent workforce is a top priority for skilled nursing and assisted living providers in Georgia. The US Census projects that Georgia’s over age 85 population will grow by 83% from 2010 to 2030, the highest growth rate in the Southeast. This creates an increased demand for skilled caregivers in the long term and post-acute care profession in the State. This need becomes especially acute with a declining number of individuals seeking and maintaining careers in the profession in the State and nationally.
 
GHCA/GCAL is dedicated to supporting members in their efforts to attract, recruit and retain skilled caregivers. Included below are workforce development tools and resources designed to assist our members in those efforts. Should you have questions or need additional resources, please do not hesitate to contact us.

DCH Establishes Temporary Nurse Aide Bridge Program for Full Certification
DCH has established a bridge program whereby individuals currently working as Temporary Nurse Aides (TNAs) can become fully certified and continue working in the center beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency. Click here to review information regarding the bridge program and certification requirements. CMS previously waived some portions of 42 CFR 483.35(d), allowing nurse aides to work for more than four months at a nursing home without completion of the training and certification process. CMS has not released guidance on whether additional time will be granted once the public health emergency period is ended. TNAs interested in sitting for the competency test are encouraged to work on completing the required coursework and clinical rotations as soon as they are able to do so. Likewise, nursing centers should proceed to support completion of the certification requirements for any TNAs that they want to hire for permanent employment.
 
Discounts are available for TNAs to complete the CNAonline Training Program. Click here for additional information and pricing.

Resources

 

COVID-19 Temporary Nurse Aide Training Program Effective March 20, 2020 
Workforce challenges continue to be an ongoing issue for providers during the COVID-19 crisis. Under the authority of the March 20, 2020 Executive Order issued by Governor Kemp, and the Section 1135 blanket waiver issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 30, 2020, HFRD has authorized a temporary nurse aide training program, as follows:

  • Nursing homes are not required to have a current CNA Training Program in order to participate in the temporary program.
  • The temporary nurse aide training program may be administered by the nursing home utilizing the 8-hour online training course and associated skills competency checklist developed by the American Health Care Association in association with Academic Platforms, LLC (branded as CNAOnline.com).
  • All nursing homes that intend to utilize the temporary nurse aide training program must complete the Temporary Nurse Aide Facility Application and send it to Alliant Health Solutions.
  • Nursing homes also must maintain documentation at the facility of all nurse aides that complete the temporary training program including, at a minimum: evidence of successful completion of the online exam following the 8-hour training; and documentation of at least 2 hours of supervised training and completion of a skills checklist by a member of the nursing staff at the facility.
  • Nursing homes may employ current nursing students who are enrolled in an LPN or RN program in Georgia as temporary nurse aides. If a nursing student has completed Nursing 101 and Nursing 102, there is no requirement to complete the 8-hour training or take the online exam. These students can be onboarded at the facility with 2 hours of supervised training and completion of a skills checklist. Nursing students hired as temporary nurse aides do not have a larger scope of duties than other temporary nurse aides. Temporary nurse aides may only perform tasks that are consistent with typical CNA job responsibilities.
  • Once the state of emergency has been lifted, the Department will allow a period of time for temporary nurse aides to complete any additional training necessary for them to pass the required Georgia Certified Nurse Aide Competency Test administered by Pearson VUE and to enroll in the Georgia Nurse Aide Registry.

Click here for the Department’s memo related to this authorization.

For a list of participating centers, click here. 

Additionally, Georgia’s Nursing Board has developed a process  to obtain a temporary permit for nurse graduates who have applied for license by exam to work as a Graduate Nurse in a role consistent with their scope of practice. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen relationships with local nursing programs and to fortify your workforce. Our hope is that centers would hire individuals through the various pathways created as a result of the public health emergency and demonstrate exceptional customer service and support as they assimilate with your teams. This will increase the likelihood these new associates will remain employed in your center long after the declared public health emergency has lifted. Embrace this opportunity and demonstrate why our health care teams are super heroes!

Please see below process for employing nursing students, allied health students and nurse graduates: 

  1. Nursing Students
    1. Pre-requisite: Fundamentals in Nursing
    2. Upon hire, student will be required to complete a competency skills check-off (linked above) and perform with 2 hours supervision
  2. Allied Health Student (or other students) and external applicants interested in Temporary Nurse Aide employment opportunity
    1. Upon hire, student will be required to complete the 8-Hour AHCA Temporary Nurse Aide online training program and exam
    2. Upon successful completion of exam, will be designated as a Temporary Nurse Aide with appropriate job responsibilities
    3. Once public health emergency has passed, DCH and other stakeholders will define process to allow TNA to complete other requirements for Certified Nurse Assistant testing and certification
  3. Nurse Graduates
    1. Graduate of accredited nursing program
    2. Apply for a temporary permit
    3. SNF, ALs and other providers may employ appropriately permitted Graduate Nurses to perform duties commensurate with their scope of practice.

If you have questions, please contact GHCA VP Quality Advancement & Regulatory Affairs Pam Clayton at pclayton@ghca.info or 678-902-9224

Click here for a template information document for center to use to recruit Temporary Nurse Aides or Graduate Nurses.

Georgia Care for the Aging Website: Member Portal Guide & Promotional Tools
The Georgia Care for the Aging website is a career information workforce development initiative to recruit compassionate and dedicated individuals to the long term and post-acute care profession in Georgia. The site allows potential long term care job seekers to explore the various career opportunities within long term care and provides information on education and training requirements, salaries, and advancement opportunities. The site also links individuals seeking educational opportunities, internships or job placements with centers looking to fill those roles. Job seekers are able to complete an online interest form with their contact information, which is collected and available for members to access. Click here for the Member Portal Guide for instructions on how to sign up for the member portal function of the site, which allows members to directly access candidate interest forms. Additionally, GHCA has created a flyer promoting the new website. Click here to download a printable PDF version of the flyer. We encourage members to distribute the flyer throughout their communities to help us raise awareness of the new website to potential job seekers as well as local high schools and universities. 

If you have questions regarding or need assistance, please contact GHCA Director of Communications Devon Barill at dbarill@ghca.info or (678) 783-1703.

Career Center
The GHCA/GCAL Career Center allows member centers to post available employment opportunities free of charge. Additionally, the Career Center allows those seeking employment in long term care to view available jobs and submit resumes through their website. Click here to access the GHCA/GCAL Career Center.
 
GHCA Education & Research Foundation Scholarships
The GHCA Education & Research Foundation functions to develop, promote and support the professional development and education of individuals who desire to specialize in long-term and post-acute healthcare.  Established in 1991, the nursing scholarship program was created to financially assist nurses to obtain or advance their education and to encourage specialization in long term and post-acute care. The program is funded by contributions to and participation in the annual Scholarship Golf Tournament and other donations received throughout the year. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has awarded approximately 300 scholarships to deserving recipients to assist with their nursing education. Learn more.

GSW Bachelor of Science in Long-Term Care Management Degree & Scholarship
The Bachelor of Science in Long-Term Care Management (LTCM) is an academic program offered online and in the classroom setting through Georgia Southwestern State University. It is a four year interdisciplinary degree addressing the need for a better prepared workforce for our nation's aging and disabled populations. It is interdisciplinary as students will take courses from a variety of disciplines - sociology, psychology, business, nursing and the caregiving institute.

The John and Betty Pope Scholarship Program scholarship program provides financial assistance to students desiring to study caregiving and family support through the Bachelor of Science Long-Term Care Management degree at Georgia Southwestern State University. Admission Requirements: This scholarship program is intended for adult learners (who graduated from high school at least one year ago and have joined the workforce) with ambitions to return to school and complete a four year college degree. Click here for a program flyer. Click here for more information and to apply online.

AHCA/NCAL WORKFORCE Resource Guide
Employing a stable and well-trained workforce is a fundamental part of sustaining and improving quality care in long term and post-acute centers nationwide. As the aging population creates an increased demand for services, and the impetus to improve quality intensifies, the profession faces a shortage of caregivers.  High employment opportunities and reimbursement cuts that impact competitive wages contribute to this trend.  This issue is projected to worsen -  the U.S.  Census Bureau estimates the number of Americans aged 65 and over will nearly double to 88 million between now and 2050.
 
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) provide members guidance and resources to address the caregiver shortage and other workforce challenges.

Click here for more information regarding the tools available to members.
  
The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program
The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program provides a pathway for providers of long term and post-acute care providers to journey towards performance excellence. The program is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.
 
Member centers may apply for three progressive levels of awards: Bronze - Commitment to Quality, Silver - Achievement in Quality, or Gold - Excellence in Quality.  Each level has its own distinct rigors and requirements for quality and performance excellence. Applications are judged by trained Examiners who provide feedback on opportunities for improvement to support continuous learning.

Click here to learn more.
 

Crescendo Strategies Workforce Development Webinars


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