AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement in Support of Building America’s Health Care Workforce Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released a statement in support of the Building America’s Health Care Workforce Act​, introduced by Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-PA), and Congressman David B. McKinley (R-WV) on Thursday. 
The bill would allow temporary nurse aides serving in nursing homes 24 months to fulfill training and testing requirements in order to become certified nursing assistants (CNA). Current statute only gives applicants four months. The legislation would also allow temporary nurse aides to apply their on-the-job experience and training toward the 75-hour federal training requirement to become a CNA.
The following statement is attributable to Holly Harmon, RN, senior vice president of Quality, Regulatory & Clinical Services for AHCA/NCAL:
“We applaud Congressman Guthrie, Congresswoman Dean, and Congressman McKinley for introducing this important legislation that recognizes the heroic efforts of temporary nurse aides and gives them a more realistic path to build a permanent career in long term care. Hundreds of thousands of temporary nurse aides stepped up to serve vulnerable seniors during this global crisis, supporting residents with non-clinical tasks and offering companionship, especially during government lockdowns. They deserve support and the opportunity to keep their jobs while working towards becoming CNAs. With many states unable to meet current training and testing demands, this legislation will help temporary aides continue to serve their residents, supporting seniors’ continuity of care. 
“Meanwhile, long term care providers nationwide are struggling to fill vacant roles, and staffing shortages are forcing many facilities to limit admissions or close their doors completely. This legislation will prevent further devastating job losses, in turn protecting access to care for our nation’s seniors. We look forward to working with Congress to help pass this critical legislation."