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Five Ways Education and Competencies Meet Long-Term Care Staff Challenges

26 Jul 21


Optimize Staff Training with Our Online Tools

Long-term care organizations continue to seek strategies for addressing industry staffing challenges.  COVID-19 has pushed industry staffing challenges to crisis proportions, leaving some organizations attempting to attract staff by offering sign-on bonuses, other financial incentives, extra time-off, or massages while at work (Dornberger, 2021).


While these financial or luxury benefits can be an excellent way to incentivize potential and existing employees, a paper released by Leading Age reveals financial incentives such as increasing compensation is just one piece of a web of strategies for minimizing staffing challenges.  Ultimately, organizations must bring greater value to the work of direct care providers.

Leading Age proposes six strategies for recognizing the value of direct care providers and ensuring a stable, high quality workforce for long-term care organizations (Stone & Bryant, 2021).  One of those six strategies is the need to enhance education and training.  It is important for long-term care organizations to consider how they invest in education and training because inadequacies in this area means that professional caregivers across the spectrum of long-term care services and supports are often ill-prepared to assume their hands-on responsibilities for the daily care of nursing home residents, assisted living residents, and home care clients (Stone & Bryant, 2021).


As a provider of education for long-term care organizations, Healthcare Academy (HCA) dialed in on this strategy for enhancing education and training.   HCA’s mission is to provide education that is instrumental in helping direct care providers feel equipped with knowledge and competencies to effectively perform their jobs.  In addition to effective job performance, education and training boosts confidence for direct care providers, consumers, and family members about the quality of care being delivered (Stone & Bryant, 2021).

Organizations need to understand how to build a bridge between education/training and competencies to strengthen formulas for successful staff recruitment and retention.  Competency requirements are most effective when specific competencies are identified, there is support and training required to develop the competencies, and when staff demonstrate those competencies (Stone & Bryant, 2021).


HCA recognizes the importance of offering industry leading education that can be tied directly to competencies for effective preparation of direct care providers to deliver high quality care.  Competency-based education is essential for preparing healthcare professionals for a rapidly changing healthcare landscape (Kavanagh & Sharpnack, 2021).  It involves enhancing education through technology to support appropriate role expectations and predictable outcomes (Kavanagh & Sharpnack, 2021).    We have highlighted five benefits of our education and competency platforms that will engage learners and give your organization confidence in achieving predictable outcomes while building stable and competent employees.

  1. Consistency. HCA offers consistent content applicable to various staff roles across long-term care facilities and organizations. Initial and ongoing training solutions are available.  Examples of specific training categories available within our robust course catalog include infection control, person-centered care, and annual federal requirements.
  2. Easy Reporting. HCAs learning management system (LMS) allows long-term care organization to easily document training for all staff at one or multiple facilities.  Several types of reports can be easily generated through the LMS including a training report for state surveyors which provides a quick snapshot of training compliance.
  3. eLearning Library. HCA offers a comprehensive library of eLearning modules to engage and support learners with an entire range of post-acute care and related support topics. The course category Population Health Management helps learners develop knowledge about specific diseases or conditions in the long-term care setting.  While there are several course categories, other feature categories include the ICD-10-CM Certificate Program and MDS 3.0 Certificate Program.  Both certificate programs help learners understand critical components related to Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) and can be used for new or refresher educational opportunities.
  4. eCompetencies®. HCA offers a 100% digital competency tool allowing long-term care organizations to use evidence-based competency checklists to help consistently train, assess, remediate, and document a wide range of skills required for care teams to demonstrate competency under F-Tag 726 Competent Nursing Staff (485.35 Nursing Services). Digital tools have become ubiquitous and invaluable partners by integrating technology to improve organizational efficiency while fostering student success (Kavanagh & Sharpnack, 2021).
  5. Support Onboarding. HCA recognizes the importance of providing course offerings that meet the needs of the organization for onboarding staff. This is especially important when hiring and onboarding staff without prior industry experience.  Our courses are developed in a user-friendly format for easy progression.  Training categories such as annual federal requirements and professional requirements/remediation/care competency for both nurses and CNAs provide learners with a framework for long-term care expectations.


HCA education and competency tools are sure to organize and optimize staff training and onboarding for your organization.  As Schiff, 2021 points out, “Organizing and optimizing staff training and onboarding is a critical step of optimal workforce management.”  The HCA team works diligently to keep content updated with the most current trends and evidence-based information.

Learn more about Healthcare Academy’s complete online education platform and how we provide quality, evidence-based content for staff and competency skill development in the long-term care setting.


Dornberger, S. (2021, July 1). Ask the care expert: Suggestions for staffing challenges? Retrieved July 13, 2021 from https://www.mcknights.com/print-news/ask-the-care-expert-suggestions-for-staffing-challenges/

Kavanagh, J.M. & Sharpnack, P.A. (2021). Crisis in competency: A defining moment in nursing education. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 26(1). Retrieved July 16, 2021 from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/953504?src=WNL_mdpls_210706_mscpedit_nurs&uac=305735MN&spon=24&impID=3489549&faf=1

Schiff, R. (2021, March 25). The overdue digital revolution in post-acute workforce management. Retrieved July 13, 2021 from https://www.mcknights.com/marketplace/marketplace-experts/the-overdue-digital-revolution-in-post-acute-workforce-management/

Stone, R.B & Bryant, N. (2021, July). Feeling valued because they are valued.  Retrieved July 13, 2021 from https://leadingage.org/sites/default/files/Workforce%20Vision%20Paper_FINAL.pdf

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