Male nurse or caregiver doing a finger sugar test to senior woman indoors during home visit.
(Credit: Halfpoint Images / Getty images)

The Arizona Health Care Association will use $6.5 million from the state to recruit, train and place certified nursing assistants and other caregivers at assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities throughout the state.

AHCA WORKS (Workforce, Outreach & Retention are Keys to Success), funded by state dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, is designed to help long-term care providers statewide with workforce development.

The program, headed by state association Director of Workforce Development Jeffreys Barrett, is an employer partnership, the association’s executive director, David Voepel, told McKnight’s Senior Living. Specifically, Voepel said, the key components of the program will help operators develop onsite training programs for CNAs and other caregivers, model curriculum approved by the Arizona Board of Nursing or the Nursing Care Institution Board, and provide recruitment assistance and a preceptor program to offer ongoing retention training.

The program is open to all licensed assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities in Arizona, and they will have to meet key milestones in the development of training programs and preceptors on staff. Participating settings also must participate in monthly retention training.

Arizona Assisted Living Foundation of America CEO Karen Barno told McKnight’s Senior Living that the grant will train 1,500 caregivers and CNAs and will “go a long way to continue providing quality care to Arizona elderly.”

“Arizona ALFA, along with [the Arizona Health Care Association] and Arizona LeadingAge, will use these funds to continue recruiting and training frontline staff in assisted living and nursing homes,” Barno said.

Arizona ALFA is the state partner of Argentum. The Arizona Health Care Association is the state affiliate of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living.

Earlier this year, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed legislation extending the temporary professional licenses of more than 2,000 critical healthcare workers until Jan. 1, 2023.