More Than 6 Certified Nursing Assistants Are Leaving Profession for Every 1 New Certified (Q2 2021 Estimate); Florida Patient Care at Risk, and Even Worse Shortages Looming With November Covid Vaccine Mandates
For Immediate Release
October 26, 2021
Mike McHugh, 913-254-6014
Release at a Glance
- As of Q3 2021, an estimated 6.15 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are leaving the profession for every 1 new CNA certified in the state of Florida.
- Covid vaccine mandates widely expected in November by employers ahead of federal government regulations for healthcare facilities will greatly exacerbate the staffing shortage
- Already beleaguered nursing homes, long-term care, and other skilled nursing facilities will be hardest hit
PINELLAS PARK, Fla., October 26, 2021 –
According to the release of the CNA Shortage Index, a quarterly estimate of how well the production of new certified nursing assistants (CNAs) is keeping up with staffing needs in Florida healthcare facilities, the state of Florida faces an acute shortage that will compromise the quality of patient care if not remedied quickly.
The CNA Shortage Index estimates that as of Q2 2021, there are 6.15 CNAs leaving the profession for every 1 new CNA certified in the state of Florida.
This release of the CNA Shortage Index—published by state-approved CNA training provider Premier Nursing Academy based on data about newly minted CNAs in Q2 2021 by the Florida Board of Nursing—quantifies the staffing gap among this entry-level nursing labor force. Certified nursing assistants are a critical component of the frontline patient care workforce, including in hospitals, long-term care, dialysis, and hospice facilities, and home care settings. CNAs may also fill roles such as patient care technician or home health aide.
Evidence confirming these recent CNA staffing shortages in Florida is all the more alarming given the looming change by most healthcare employers to require Covid vaccinations among their staff in anticipation of a federal Covid vaccine mandate for all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities. A widespread vaccine mandate is expected to make filling open roles in healthcare more challenging for employers, but especially for an occupation that has average Covid vaccination rates of less than 50% and provides much of the direct patient care in many facilities. Nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to CNA shortages, because CNAs make up the largest employee job group in these facilities by far, and state regulations require minimum ratios of CNAs to residents.
“The current shortage of CNAs is about to be exacerbated in a big way by self-imposed or government regulatory requirements for healthcare staff to be vaccinated against Covid,” explains Matt Killday, Chief Operating Officer of Premier Nursing Academy. “Regardless of your point of view about vaccine mandates as a policy, the business and social implications are clear: the quality of patient care is at risk in many of Florida’s health facilities if there are not enough qualified CNAs to employ.”
“Regardless of your point of view about vaccine mandates as a policy, the business and social implications are clear: the quality of patient care is at risk in many of Florida’s health facilities if there are not enough qualified CNAs to employ.”
“All stakeholders in the CNA supply pipeline—healthcare employers, CNA training programs, the Florida state government, and nursing associations—need to work together in unprecedented ways to navigate this upcoming shortage for the good of public health,” said Mike McHugh, Premier Nursing Academy’s Chief Executive Officer.
About the CNA Shortage Index
The CNA Shortage Index estimates the replacement rate of CNAs, expressed as the number of new CNAs entering the workforce in recent quarters for every CNA leaving the profession. It is calculated based on the latest release of data from the Florida Board of Nursing (FBON) about the preceding quarter’s CNA exam pass rates, as well as employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics for the nursing assistant occupation.
The index is published by Premier Nursing Academy, a Florida Board of Nursing-approved CNA training provider. This is the inaugural release of the CNA Shortage Index. For more details, visit https://www.premiernursingacademy.org/cna-shortage-index.
About Premier Nursing Academy
Premier Nursing Academy is a contract training provider serving aspiring healthcare professionals. Founded in 2017, Premier Nursing Academy offers an innovative no-cost training program in which candidates are hired by employers who pay for their training through Premier Nursing Academy. Premier Nursing Academy assists these employers by addressing their staffing shortages in skilled, entry-level healthcare roles.
Premier Nursing Academy currently focuses on training certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in 6-week programs that prepare graduates to pass their CNA exam. It operates training centers in Pinellas Park (Tampa metro area) and Bradenton (Sarasota metro area), with plans to expand to the Jacksonville metro area. Premier Nursing Academy has been licensed by the Florida Board of Nursing to provide CNA training since 2019. For more information visit https://www.premiernursingacademy.org/.