COVID-19 has exposed the longstanding internal problems in nursing homes and the weak structures and policies that are meant to protect residents. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services convened the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in NHs in April, 2020 to address this situation by recommending steps to improve infection prevention and control, safety procedures, and the quality of life of residents in nursing homes. The authors of this paper respond to the Final Report of the Commission and put forth additional recommendations to federal policymakers for meaningful nursing home reform: 1) ensuring 24/7 registered nurse (RN) coverage and adequate compensation to maintain total staffing levels that are based on residents’ care needs; 2) ensuring RNs have geriatric nursing and leadership competencies; 3) increasing efforts to recruit and retain the NH workforce, particularly RNs; and 4) supporting care delivery models that strengthen the role of the RN for quality resident-centered care.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Nurse residency programs have consistently led to improved nurse retention as well as improved quality of care ( Goode et al., 2013 ; Medas et al., 2015 ; Trepanier et al., 2012 .) Nurse residency programs have been recommended by the Joint Commission on Accreditation (2002) , the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2008) , the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (2020) , and the Future of Nursing Report jointly sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2011) . All organizations cited their impact on both improved care and retention of RNs. Nurse residency programs have proliferated in acute care settings but are rarely found in NHs. Concerns about cost and insufficient staffing have been major obstacles to implementing nurse residency programs in these settings. One strategy for financing NH RN residency programs would be to obtain CMS educational funding, as is the case for medical residencies.
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- Nursing home reform
- Nursing homes
- Staffing levels
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article