NAHCA Statement on NASEM Report

CARL JUNCTION, MO – (April 72022): The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA), representing more than 26,000 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) across the country who provide life sustaining care to the nation’s frail and elderly, released the following statement today in response to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report, The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff,” released earlier this week.

This statement is attributable to Lori Porter, cofounder and CEO of NAHCA:
“As we continue our efforts to advocate for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) amid an historical staffing crisis, we applaud the NASEM report and the work of the committee that produced it. This publication serves as a declaration and call to action that something must change in response to how CNAs and other direct care staff have been treated in this field for many years. Without adequate and appropriate staffing there simply cannot be highquality care. And every citizen of this country deserves to have care that is nothing short of highquality and personcentered.
The report verifies what we have been saying for years: to successfully recruit and
retain a highquality nursing home Careforce, there must be competitive compensation (as opposed to ‘adequate’ compensation) coupled with incentives and supports that honor and elevate the recognition and work of CNAs.
NAHCA supports and promotes each of the recommendations put forth in the report regarding CNAs, especially the following statement: ‘Because of the crucial role of this position in nursing homes, significantly improving the quality of care for nursing home residents requires investing in quality jobs for CNAs and enabling more workers to enter the CNA pipeline.’
At the same time, NAHCA supports the following specific recommendations to advance the role and empowerment of CNAs:
Career advancement opportunities and peer mentoring;
Free entrylevel training and continuing education;
Coverage of time for completing education and training programs;
Expansion of the role of the CNA; and
New models of care that take greater advantage of the role of the CNA as a
member of the interdisciplinary team.
What’s more, we are particularly heartened that the report calls out the National
Institute of CNA Excellence (NICE), an initiative created by NAHCA, project seeking to recruit and train CNAs, as an example of how we must address and improve CNA education and training. As noted in the report, NICE provides ‘virtual training that goes beyond traditional training in clinical skills to include topics like team building, leadership skills, conflict resolution, resident advocacy, and communication. The project further plans to support the CNA candidate through certification and job placement.’
Finally, NAHCA fully supports the recommendation of a ‘designation of a specific
percentage of Medicare and Medicaid payments for directcare services for nursing
home residents, including staffing (including both the number of staff and their wages and benefits), behavioral health, and clinical care.’”