The CNA Association

 

There are many benefits to being a member of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA). As the CNA Association, we stand together to demonstrate our professional pride and advocate for policies and practices that advance certified nursing assistants in their careers as well as their personal lives.

NAHCA members represent nursing homes, assisted living, home care, hospice, and even hospital care. We have a large number of CNA members nationwide.

Learn more about the amazing benefits that we offer.

For information about becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in your state, click here.

CNA Week

 

Celebrate CNA Week Toolkit

CNA Week begins on June 17. NAHCA has created a toolkit for CNAs and for the facilities where they work so that everyone can celebrate, recognize, and pay their respects to the incredible work that the nearly 1 million-strong contingent of frontline heroes has over the past 16 months.
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Contact your representative and make your voice heard. We make it easy with a range of tools that summarize the issues, provide sample letters and help you contact your members of Congress. Your work as an advocate is crucial to motivating legislators and other policymakers.

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Donate Here

Your gift of a $30 scholarship will sponsor a CNA for an annual membership in NAHCA (The National association of Health Care Assistants).

Being part of a community of peers is a powerful tool in the life of a successful career.

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NAHCA is proud to announce the development of the National Institute of CNA Excellence to put an end to the staffing crisis.

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Learn More

February 16, 2021
The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) is proud to announce the development of the National Institute of CNA Excellence (NICE) to offer a full spectrum of education, training, and resources to address Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) recruitment, certification, placement, and professional development.

Building on nearly 40 years of experience from leaders in the field, NICE will initially capitalize on the existing resources of NAHCA. The association’s leadership and staff, who know and understand the reasons CNAs leave their profession or perform poorly, have applied this knowledge to the development of NICE.

“In addition to being the answer to the CNA staffing crisis in skilled nursing homes, NICE will provide a one-stop virtual career center for everything CNA-related,” says NAHCA CEO and Co-founder Lori Porter. “To ensure vulnerable residents receive safe, quality care, there must be adequate numbers of exceptional CNAs in the nation’s nursing homes. Poor image, recruitment issues, inadequate training, lack of support on the job, and a perceived lack of growth opportunities contribute to CNA shortages and CNA turnover, which currently is at about 120 percent.”

Following are each of the founding elements of NICE:

  • Recruiting – NICE will take an active approach to recruiting by leveraging the power of digital marketing, social media, and other channels of communication.
  • Certification – NICE builds on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ requirements for CNA training by adding skills that are essential to career success, including equipping them with additional skill sets that foster greater opportunity for long-term successes and career longevity.
  • Placement – NICE will accredit nursing homes to ensure that their workforce culture increases the potential for career success.
  • Professional Development – NICE will promote the understanding and application of best practices through virtual learning, NAHCA membership, and other technologies. In addition, the Institute will promote educational opportunities that exceed the minimum standards of the federal and state governments.

“Research indicates a correlation between staff and quality outcomes. NICE is designed to address these issues and provide solid solutions,” Porter added.

NAHCA has successfully recruited, trained, and supported these frontline professionals for more than 25 years. NICE as an important next step in the evolution of this effort, which must not be done alone. In the coming months, the Institute anticipates the need for funding, volunteers, and adjunct faculty.

These contributions likely will take one of three forms: charitable contributions, sponsorships, and/or grants. If you or your organization are interested in supporting the mission of NICE, please contact Dane Henning (Director of Public Affairs, NAHCA) at dhenning@nahcacna.org or 417-291-1502.

Executive Summary

 

National Institute of CNA Excellence Executive Summary

The Issue

More than 1.5 million people receive services in nursing homes. Quality of life and care are compromised by staffing issues such as recruiting, retention, and organizational culture. The largest employee group in nursing homes are Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). These professionals have the greatest engagement with the resident/patient. Today, there are more than 174,000 open CNA positions with an annual national turnover rate of more than 120%. Research indicates a direct correlation between staff and quality outcomes. Staffing issues also cost the taxpayer over $2.5 billion annually. The National Institute of CNA Excellence (NICE) offers comprehensive solutions that will improve recruiting, certification, placement, and professional development.

The Solutions

NICE is building upon nearly 40 years of experience from the NICE leadership and the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA). Each are committed to quality and the advancement of CNAs. As a result of their combined intellectual capacity,NICE can offer full spectrum solutions to address recruiting, certification, placement, and professional development. Each of these elements are expanded upon below:

    1. Recruiting - Skilled nursing centers rely on passive recruiting initiatives. The Institute takes an active approach to recruiting by leveraging the power of digital marketing, social media, and more frequently accessed channels of communication. This approach affords NICE the opportunity to craft messaging that promote a vocation over job placement. The intent is to produce videos, memes, and other modes of highlighting the importance of the profession.
    2. Certification - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have established the minimum requirements for nursing assistant certification. The Institute builds upon the standard by adding skills that are essential to career success. These skills include both professional and organizational development content. Equipping new CNAs with these additional skill sets will give them greater opportunity to long term success and is likely to contribute positively in career longevity.
    3. Placement - Some nursing homes have workforce cultures that promote professionalism and healthy retention. Regrettably, others have workforce cultures that create a revolving door pneumonia. NICE works to accredit nursing homes to ensure that their workforce culture increases the potential for career success. The Institute also has options to help centers with a workforce culture have a measurable need for improvement. The desired outcome it to place CNAs in the best centers.
    4. Professional Development - Completing the requirements for certification is the beginning of a journey. CNAs achieve the greatest success when they engage in professional development. One hallmark of professionalism is the desire to understand and apply best practices and NICE promotes that desire through virtual learning, blogs, membership in NAHCA, Video Conference, and other technology modes. The Institute will promote educational opportunities that exceed the minimum standards of the federal and state governments.

Necessary Resources

Realizing the fullest potential of NICE requires a wide range of resources. Initially, the Institute will capitalize on the existing resources of NAHCA. Based on this relationship, start-up resources such as people, knowledge, and equipment will begin the work of NICE. The Institute will work to acquire donations to support scholarships to support CNA candidates. As the scope of work grows, there will be a need to access additional resources.

Requested Support

People and organizations have potential to help ensure that NICE can meet the needs of CNAs and those who receive care in our nation’s nursing homes. The Institute anticipates needing: funding, volunteers, and adjunct faculty. Funding is likely to take one of three forms: charitable contributions, sponsorships, and/or grants. NICE will require expertise in IT infrastructure, grant development, and adjunct faculty. The Institute also will need to expand its communication strategies through collaborative partnerships to ensure the widest dissemination of information.

If you or your organization are interested in supporting the mission of NICE, please contact Matthew Cantrell (Chief Operating Officer, NAHCA) at mcantrell@nahcacna.org or 417-623-6049.