PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe how the prevalence of nurse aide training and competency evaluation programs (NATCEPs) provided in the nursing home (NH) setting changed between 1997 and 2007, to explore the environmental factors that may be influencing the prevalence of these programs, and to examine how the changing prevalence of NH-based NATCEPs may be affecting those considering certified nursing assistant (CNA) work.
METHODS: We used the Online Survey Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) data to generate descriptive statistics for 3 groups of NHs from 1997 to 2007: NHs that never provided an NATCEP, those that provided the program throughout the study period, and those that provided the program intermittently. We gathered information on states' policies regarding CNA training by telephone and Internet. Data from the National Nursing Assistant Survey were also utilized to describe where CNAs are receiving their training and what proportion of costs they are paying.
RESULTS: Prevalence of NH-based programs dropped throughout the study period. It is likely that most CNAs are now receiving their preemployment training outside the NH setting and paying a greater share of their training costs.
IMPLICATIONS: The shifting of CNA training to venues other than NHs raises important questions about the quality of training and states' ability to monitor training programs. In addition, CNAs receiving training outside NHs pay a greater share of their training costs, possibly creating a disincentive to enter the field.