Survey says: Grim outlook exists for CNAs

There is a general assumption that the more work you put into your career, the more opportunities you will have for advancement. That is unless you are a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at a nursing home, according to a new study published in The Gerontologist that paints a relatively bleak work future for CNAs working in nursing homes today.


The National Nursing Assistant Survey sampled 3,017 CNAs working in nursing homes. CNAs were surveyed in: recruitment, education, training and licensure, job history, family life, management and supervision, client relations, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, workplace environment, and work related injuries.


The survey outcomes leave me wondering: Why would anyone want to be a CNA in a nursing home?

Among the survey results:


· One in three CNAs receives some form of public assistance

· Over 50% of the CNA's suffered at least one work-place injury over the course of the last year

· Work-related injuries required 25% of the nursing to take time off from work

· Forty-two percent of the CNAs are not participating in their employers sponsored insurance plan due to the fact they could not afford to participate

· Experience means nothing—well almost—in terms of pay. CNAs with 10 years or more in job experience earn just $2.00 more per hour than their counterparts who just began working in the industry

More experienced CNAs will undoubtedly leave their current positions until the industry chooses to put a premium on improving working conditions for this under-paid and injury-prone group. Consequently, too few highly skilled CNAs will remain to care for the growing nursing home population.
Jonathan Rosenfeld is a lawyer who represents people injured in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Visit his personal blog at .

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