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CNA course, contest aim to improve knowledge, retention

February 9, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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A new course for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and an opportunity for CNAs to win free registration, lodging and transportation to and from an annual conference are designed to keep CNAs abreast of the latest knowledge to perform their duties. And they may help providers with staff retention in the process.

The new online advanced preceptor course for CNAs, introduced by the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA), builds on the first certified preceptor course it introduced 18 years ago. Since its introduction, the original course has been presented in 702 congregate settings and has graduated 4,262 preceptors, NAHCA says. Care centers that participated in the original program saw a 24 percent increase in CNA retention, according to the organization.

The new advanced curriculum emphasizes leadership skills, conflict resolution, consensus building, problem solving and enhanced transition planning. To participate, candidates must complete the certified preceptor course, have been an active peer mentor for at least six months and obtain an employer endorsement from a staff development coordinator, in-house coach or NAHCA facilitator. Once admitted, students have up to 120 days to complete their studies.

Essay contest

The Academy of Certified Health Professionals (ACHP) and NAHCA have announced an essay competition with the prize of a scholarship to attend NAHCA’s annual conference in Des Moines, IA, June 10 and 11. Entrants must write a 500- to 1,000-word essay answering this question: What makes CNAs the warriors of long-term care, and how do their efforts enhance quality?

ACHP is accepting essays until April 17. A selection committee will review submissions, judging them on how passionately and completely the writer addresses the theme. Scholarship recipients will receive a conference registration, lodging at the conference property, and transportation from their home to Des Moines and back. 2015 Scholarship recipients will be notified on or before May 1.

Last year's winner, Sha’net Mason, who works at Brewster Place in Topeka, Kan., was chosen from more than 100 essay writers. “2014 was my first time going to a NAHCA conference,” she said. “It was mind-blowingly exciting and motivating.”


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