A Facility Specialist Model for Improving Retention of Nursing Home Staff: Results From a Randomized, Controlled Study

Source: Karl Pillemer, Rhoda Meador, Charles Henderson, Jr., Julie Robison, Carol Hegeman, Edwin Graham, and Leslie Schultz, Gerontologist, Volume 48, Special Issue I , 2008

Employee retention programs for long-term care staff need to be cost-effective and evidence-based. A retention specialist (RS) situated in nursing homes is one strategy that could improve retention of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in nursing homes.

The current article presented findings from a randomized, controlled evaluation of the Retention Specialist Program (RSP). RSP targeted systematic facility problems related to staff turnover. Data collection involved CNA interviews and measurement of turnover at 30 facilities at baseline, six months and 12 months. Facilities were randomly assigned to the treatment or control group. As part of the intervention, RSs received training on retention, provision of ongoing technical assistance, and leveraging community resources. Outcome variables were attitudes toward the facility and satisfaction and job stress.

Key Findings:

* In treatment facilities, CNA turnover rates significantly decreased from baseline to 12-month assessment as compared to control facilities.


* CNA ratings of quality of care increased from baseline to six-month assessment. Similar change was seen in quality of staff education and facility trainings.


* No changes were observed in job satisfaction or stress.

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