Consortium Training Program for Home Health and Nursing Assistants Scores High on Completion, Certification and Retention Rates

Collaboration for paraprofessional training, literacy, and job success

From 2003 to 2007, the Somerset County Training Consortium—which includes two visiting nurse associations, two home-health-aide agencies, four assisted living facilities, one English as a Second Language (ESL) provider and three long-term-care facilities in Somerset County, N.J.—conducted a training course aimed at expanding the number of certified home-health aides and certified nurse assistants available to provide direct care in home, assisted living and nursing home settings. The consortium also aimed to improve job retention and job satisfaction among these workers.

The Community Visiting Nurse Association of Bridgewater, N.J., the home health agency that initiated negotiations leading to the training consortium, was the lead agency in this project.

Key Results:

  • Some 87 percent of enrollees completed the training, compared with 50 percent typical of other training programs for such paraprofessionals.
  • All trainees were eligible to take state certification exams, and their pass rate was above 90 percent. Some 99 percent of those who took the home-health-aide exam passed. Some 94 percent of those who took the long-term-care exam passed, compared with a statewide pass rate of 70 percent.
  • Some 81 percent of 43 trainees for whom data were available remained employed a year after graduating from the program. This 19 percent one-year attrition rate improves on the 40 to 60 percent three-month attrition rate reported by participating agencies before the project began.

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