High turnover of nursing assistants (NAs) has implications for the quality of nursing home care. Greater understanding of correlates of NA turnover is needed to provide insight into possible retention strategies.
This study examined nursing home organizational characteristics and specific job characteristics of staff in relation to turnover of NAs.
Cross-sectional data on 944 nationally representative nursing homes were derived from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey. Using a 3-month turnover rate, 25% of the facilities with the lowest turnover rates were classified as low turnover, 25% of the facilities with the highest turnover were classified as high turnover, and the remaining 50% of the facilities were classified as moderate turnover. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine organizational and job characteristics associated with low and high turnover compared with moderate turnover.
One organizational characteristic, staffing levels at or greater than 4.0 hours per patient day, was associated with greater odds of low NA turnover and reduced odds of high NA turnover. Job characteristics including higher wages and union membership were associated with greater odds of low NA turnover, whereas wages, fully paid health insurance, employee assistance benefits, and involvement in resident care planning were associated with reduced odds of high NA turnover.
The results of this study suggest that job characteristics of NA staff may be particularly important for turnover. Specifically, the provision of competitive wages and benefits (particularly health insurance) and involvement of NAs in resident care planning could potentially reduce NA turnover, as could maintaining high levels of nurse staffing.
April Temple, BS, NHA, is Doctoral Candidate, School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debra Dobbs, PhD, is Assistant Professor, School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa.
Ross Andel, PhD, is Assistant Professor, School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa.