Retention of Long-term Care Professionals: Assessing the Challenges

Source: Janice Heineman, Institute for the Future of Aging Services and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, January 2010

A review of the literature and national professional association Web sites as well as attempts at personal communication with leaders of these same associations yielded little information about retention strategies and programs for long-term care professionals. Some research, although still very little, could be found in the literature about job satisfaction among professional long-term care staff and factors influencing their intention to stay in or leave their positions. Overall, however, there is a paucity of information to be found about strategies and/or programs aimed at retaining quality professional staff within the long- term care field. Moreover, anecdotal evidence and communication with leaders in the field indicate that the minimal literature and information to be found on retention strategies reflect a true lack of such strategies and not merely a lack of published information describing these strategies.

Due to the lack of defined and tested retention strategies and programs for professional long-term care staff, what follows is a summary of information and research pertaining to turnover and staffs’ intentions to stay or leave. Section I presents research conducted on this topic by various groups and individuals. Section II summarizes the information, albeit minimal, uncovered on specific retention strategies and programs.

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