NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas on Monday urged a Senate committee to reject legislation that would set arbitrary staffing ratios for nurse’s aides in long-term care facilities, saying the current shortage is better addressed by enhanced recruitment efforts and training opportunities.
In testimony provided to the Senate Health, Senior Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, Buteas noted that 3,000 additional certified nurse’s aides (CNAs) would need to be hired in New Jersey in order for facilities to be in compliance with the nurse-to-CNA ratios required in the bill, S-2712.
“Legislatively mandated staffing ratios are problematic in that they assume that all nursing home facilities are the same and do not take into account the experience or expertise of each facility’s caregivers,” Buteas said in her prepared testimony.
“NJBIA places a strong and consistent focus on the quality and affordability of healthcare in our state, and there are ways to attract and retain a qualified workforce of CNAs that do not require artificial, restrictive staffing ratios.
NJBIA’s Postsecondary Education Task Force has recommended enhanced promotion of New Jersey’s community colleges and vocational-technical schools, as well as the creation of new internship programs, job-training opportunities, and apprenticeship programs, Buteas noted.