NICE is the solution to the CNA staffing crisis in skilled nursing homes. To ensure vulnerable residents are receiving safe and quality care, there must be adequate numbers of exceptional CNAs in the nation’s nursing homes.
How NICE Works
NICE will use a combination of – digital marketing channels to drive prospects to its CNA career engagement website. Once registered on the website, the prospect will receive regular automated and manual communications to encourage them to pursue certification and how to do so. Additionally, current and former professional CNAs will be reinvigorated and provided support to achieve career success. Data audits will be performed to track results.
NICE is uniquely poised to speak to the heart of a person who wants to make a difference, educate the demographic, inspire action, support recruits, place recruits and to follow them for the remainder of their careers.
NICE will develop the digital marketing materials to support a nation-wide social media campaign that targets multiple age groups, with promotional materials crafted to speak directly to a wide spectrum of viewers. Platforms for the campaign will include social media, search engines, and websites. The message on these platforms will promote the CNA profession.
NAHCA has developed successful recruitment campaigns for skilled nursing homes, but retention is the space that has been focused on for more than two decades. Until the existing work culture is improved inside nursing homes, retention will continue to be the core issue impeding successful recruitment efforts.
NAHCA lends its workforce culture improvement programs to NICE to assist nursing homes’ retention success rate. This menu of programs includes the Enclave Principle, Preceptor Certification, and NAHCA Membership.
Rarely has there been a comprehensive approach to preparing CNAs for the “real life” field experience. Traditionally new CNA education covers clinical skills and does not prepare them for realistic challenges each and every CNA faces daily. The industry must prepare incoming CNAs to have long and successful careers. Therefore, NICE will take successful training programs one step further and go beyond compliance to educate the learner on essential skills such as teambuilding, conflict resolution, and communication.
Student-Centered Education vs. Skills-Based Training
NICE will provide student-centered education and career coaching to prepare each CNA graduate to navigate pitfalls and turn challenges into opportunities once they’re employed. Newly certified nursing assistants have indicated the primary reasons for leaving the profession is they felt unwelcome, disrespected, and believe the work culture is negative, especially from other CNAs. The role of a CNA requires more than skills-based task training to prepare for the situational experiences they will encounter.
CNAs are taught to provide person-centered care; therefore, CNAs need to be educated on a student-centered basis. Student-centered education allows each student to work with their NICE career coach to individualize their development potential. This provides each student an opportunity to shape their career to match the special needs of those living in long term care.
Certification and Preparation
NICE will provide a series of informational briefs that allow the candidate to understand process expectations and intended outcomes. The content will address the learning management system (LMS) and how to navigate it, required course materials, the presentation of the content, opportunity to practice for the exam, and expectations of the learner.
It is no secret that there are gaps in CNA career preparation. These gaps must be filled in order to prepare students for successful CNA careers. NICE will provide students with a variety of course content that enhances understanding of teambuilding, conflict resolution, communication, and essential leadership skills.
CNAs need to be able to successfully communicate with their peers, their residents, and the nursing home leadership in order to be effective. CNAs have historically been met with a high level of resistance when it comes to their peers and immediate supervisors, so equipping them with conflict resolution skills is important in order to support both their colleagues while also meeting residents’ needs. Leadership is the act of utilizing influence and is not always a formal position. Honing leadership skills among CNAs is essential to empowering them in the care of their residents but also in leading peers when necessary. CNAs must be able to use all career skills to only be an effective member of a team. Adding career skills training will help prevent job burnout and frustration, and it will keep great CNAs from leaving the profession.
NICE credentialing includes meeting all state and federal requirements to be a practicing CNA and to meet the minimum number of hours of continuing education. In addition to the federally and state required number of nurse aide training hours, NICE will provide supplementary hours of education of life skills, communication, team building, conflict resolution, and resident advocacy training. The academic portion of this course will be hosted on a virtual LMS and the clinical portion will be conducted in-person through contract services.
Virtual CNA Course
The NICE CNA course is a comprehensive cloud-based training program to prepare individuals for careers as CNAs. The program revolves around “The Residents,” a three-hour, Hollywood-quality movie that depicts the life of a newly hired CNA. The training is complemented with animated simulations; informative video interviews with real-life medical personnel; and 180 content videos, quizzes, and practice tests. The NICE CNA course goes beyond helping students learn required skills and achieve CNA certification. It also prepares them for the emotional and interpersonal challenges of the job—as well as its rewards.
The goal is to not only produce the highest quality graduates ready to join the workforce, but also to continue the relationship after their certification. NICE helps each graduate find success in their career by connecting them with nursing homes that are vetted through the NICE accreditation standards. Ensuring newly certified nursing assistants are employed in environments where they can excel is vital in their job satisfaction and retaining their high-quality talent. NICE will utilize a multi-faceted approach in this phase for better outcomes.
Nursing Home Partner Accreditation
NICE will provide an accreditation process for skilled nursing centers to gain “preferred status.” Employers wishing to become accredited may apply to the Institute. Accreditation is intended to align employers who meet or exceed the accreditation standards with CNAs who have just completed the NICE education and certification process. This will connect CNAs with organizations that represent the most likely environment for career success.
The application will be evaluated, and the organization will receive instructions explaining steps in the credentialing process. Upon the completion of the review process, the employer will either be accredited or receive recommendations on how to position themselves for future accreditation. Once an employer receives accreditation, they will participate in a review process to ensure that they continue to promote standards of excellence.
Accreditation is valid for a period of one year and the recipient will reapply at the beginning of their eleventh month to prevent a lapse in accreditation.
NICE graduates will be free to select the facility of their choice; however, the Institute will show preference to NICE Accredited partners in steering the graduate to a successful career.
There are a variety of data sources upon which an employer may be assessed to determine their suitability for placement of CNAs as it relates to the potential for career success. The standards are based upon a review of best practices in human resources organizations and are comparable to the post-acute/long-term care operations. Key areas reviewed could include orientation/training, employee survey data, turnover statistics, and wages/benefits analysis. These standards will be used for the initial application, ongoing reporting/evaluation, and recertification.
CNA Job Board/Resume Builder
As part of the career skills training NICE provides a guided and easy-to-use resume builder for graduates through the NICE CNA job board. This service is free to graduates and allows them to find the nursing home that best suits their career goals. NICE Preferred employers have full access to this job board and can post jobs and search resumes of qualified candidates as part of their accreditation at no charge.