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The Path Beyond CNA Recruitment: An Innovative Training and Retention Solution

The SEIU Healthcare PA Training and Education Fund is about solutions. When a problem arises within the industry we serve, we put our heads together and innovate.

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, long-term care is especially vulnerable to a host of devastating challenges. With many facilities already short on workers, the intensity of the staffing crisis has reached emergency levels. New pathways to recruit and train the right kinds of people into the long-term care industry are crucial to sustain the dignity and health of our most vulnerable population.

A New Pathway Is Open…Now What?

An emergency declaration order allows new recruits a faster way in the door to long-term care facilities.  Completion of a brief 8-hour course allows new Temporary Nurse Aides (TNAs) to start working quickly, but more training is needed to provide quality care, gain official certification, and continue on a career track in healthcare. The temporary status of the Nurse Aides will expire, and the industry cannot afford to lose these vital direct care workers. Projections call for a 40% increase in the workforce to properly accommodate current staffing needs.

The systems in place to train and retain Temporary Nurse Aides are underdeveloped. After 80 hours of on-the-job training and an approved attestation form, TNAs are eligible to take the Credentia exam to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). Many do not pass because most long-term care facilities are not equipped with comprehensive training systems, nor do they have the time, capacity, or resources to quickly and effectively implement them. “On-the-job training” does not guarantee comprehensive adult education methods, especially with veteran staff members already stretched so thin. 

We’ve Readied the Path To Success

The SEIU HCPA Training and Education Fund shored up our resources and knowledge to offer an innovative solution that substantially raises the success rate of TNAs transitioning to a CNA position. Our Pathway to CNA program is a comprehensive solution to fill the gaps where on-the-job training falls short. 

Those who have gone through our program have passed the pilot practice exam at a rate of 85% - up from 52% when they did not rely on our Pathway to CNA program.

How It Works

Our partner facilities are eligible to implement the Pathway tp CNA program for TNAs who are covered in their bargaining unit at no cost. All resources and support are covered by employer contributions.*  Once enrollment is secure, we communicate directly with TNAs to set them up for success with our program. Here is how it works:

  • Our staff will set up a meeting with members of management to discuss details.
  • Participants are given a pre-test to determine individual needs.
  • Students will devote 40 hours to an online, asynchronous, high-quality curriculum. Students work at their pace, on their time.
  • Students check in once per week with our Nurse Educator to monitor progress, reinforce curriculum, and answer questions.
  • We will work with students individually, should they need additional support for ESL, literacy, or other learning barriers.
  • We provide lab and competency access either in-person, or in a virtual reality format, depending on needs and access.
  • We provide access to practice exams and refresher materials before students sit for the certification exam to ensure success the first time around.

From TNA to CNA…And Beyond

When TNAs successfully pass the Credentia exam, they are officially registered as a CNA with the state of Pennsylvania. This allows them to continue working in facilities, and secures their status as a healthcare provider. The SEIU HCPA Training and Education Fund will continue to provide educational benefits and resources to support our healthcare heroes along their career path. Read more about our great programs and benefits:

Tuition Assistance

Certification Classes

Skills Enrichment Courses

Career Readiness

Additional Support for Employers

*For facilities where TNAs are not covered in the union contract, please contact us to discuss access to this program.

Our Impact This Year

  • Employer Partners

    88

  • Certifications Earned

    336

  • Students Enrolled

    1096

  • SEIU Tuition Assistance

    $249,012

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