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"Help Wanted" is LTC's Mantra. (NH News Notes).

Maybe if every administrator in the nation yelled "Help!" at once, a few prospective caregivers would take notice and perhaps glance at the nearest nursing home or assisted living facility--a solution probably as good as any, at the moment.

Shedding light on the industry's chronic staffing problem, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) reports that more than 100,000 healthcare professionals are needed immediately in nursing homes. Based upon preliminary data, AHCA's survey, sent to approximately 16,500 nursing homes, discovered 106,982 direct care nursing position vacancies, with 65,333 vacancies for CNAs, 25,433 for LPNs and 16,196 for staff RNs. Compounding the problem, CNAs have an annual turnover rate of 76.1%, LPNs a 51.5% turnover rate and RNs churning at 5 5.5%. Final results will be available at AHCA's Web site, www.ahca.org.

While the numbers are grim, AHCA sees the vacancies as opportunities for workers displaced by the souring economy. AHCA officials hope that this realization will spur congressional interest in the nursing crisis, and actually do something about the Nurse Reinvestment Act or the Nursing Employment and Education Development (NEED) Act (See Nursing Homes December 2001, p. 8, for more information).

"We support placing the security of our country at the very top of the nation's legislative agenda," said Mary TellisNayak, president of the American College of Health Care Administrators in a release, acknowledging recent tragic distractions. "Yet it's also essential that ensuring the security of our seniors by having enough skilled frontline healthcare professionals is [seen as] a primary consideration of our lawmakers." New staffing law remained only a hope as of press time.
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Title Annotation:nursing homes see shortage in health care professionals
Publication:Nursing Homes
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:275
Previous Article:CMS Initiative collects data for consumer use. (NH News Notes).
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