Nurse Aide Shortage: A Nationwide Dilemma

There’s a problem in Iowa. According to a recent article published in The Des Moines Register, there are currently thousands of vacancies for direct care workers – including home health aides, certified nurse aides, and personal support attendants.  With the booming economy and low unemployment rate, there are fewer applicants for these positions.  Why?  “Because direct care is tough work that isn’t rewarded with the pay, benefits and training deserved.”
This dilemma extends far beyond Iowa. In fact, nurse aide turnover is high across the nation. Employers are finding that their existing caregivers are burnt out…and they no longer have potential employees lining up at their doors.  Unless something changes, this dire situation will go from bad to worse as the need for direct care workers is only expected to increase.
What can YOU do to help?
  • Start by valuing your existing nurse aides from day one.
    • Pay a livable wage.
    • Provide a comprehensive orientation.
    • Implement a mentorship program to assist direct care workers when help is needed.
    • Insist upon ongoing quality continuing education to boost confidence.
  • Treat nurse aides like valued members of the healthcare team.
    • Encourage them to share their opinions and suggestions about client care.
    • Involve them in problem solving to encourage critical thinking.
    • Recognize their achievements and praise hard work.
Give your direct care workers the respect they deserve.

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