With a large number of staff members nearing retirement, a California life plan community operator has launched a new program to train the next generation of long-term care workers.
Sequoia Living’s New Careers Program will begin this fall with a cohort of 40 students who will study to be certified nurse assistants. Sequoia Living will pay the students to attend the 10-week program, which will include classroom and clinical onsite training. Although the training will be in skilled healthcare, students also will cross-train in assisted living and memory care settings, according to a spokesperson.
Sequoia Living provides a continuum of settings, including continuing care retirement communities, affordable senior housing, senior centers and a volunteer program in the Bay Area.
Since 2020, Sequoia Living noted, 400,000 assisting living and nursing home staff members have left the field, and many CNA programs shut down during the pandemic. The company responded by developing its own CNA training program.
Once students complete training and pass the California CNA license exam, they will be encouraged to apply to open positions at one of four Sequoia Living life plan communities in the Bay Area.
Vice President of Risk Management and Clinical Services Cal Groeneweg said the program will provide training for the next generation of skilled nursing staff, along with offering professional development opportunities and career advancement.
“Through this program, nursing students fulfill clinical training in our communities, helping them gain hands-on experience,” Groeneweg said in a statement. “Sequoia Living has a culture of longevity, with people working for 25 to 35 years. Now, many are getting close to retirement. We have to be able to fill those openings with talented nurses and CNAs so we can provide the best care possible to our residents.”
The operator plans to offer two to three CNA training sessions per year.
In 2021, Sequoia Living began a partnership with the College of Nursing at Samuel Merritt University (now Samuel Merritt College) in Oakland to allow senior year nursing students to gain hands-on training in all levels of care in its communities. That partnership continues and is separate from the CNA training program.
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