Consistent Assignment of Nurse Aides

Association with Turnover and Absenteeism

Published in: Journal of Aging and Social Policy, v. 25, no. 1, 2013, p. 48-64

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013

by Nicholas G. Castle

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Consistent assignment refers to the same caregivers consistently caring for the same residents almost every time caregivers are on duty. This article examines the association of consistent assignment of nurse aides with turnover and absenteeism. Data came from a survey of nursing home administrators, the Online Survey Certification and Reporting data, and the Area Resource File. The measures were from 2007 and came from 3,941 nursing homes. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine turnover and absenteeism. An average of 68% of nursing homes reported using consistent assignment, with 28% of nursing homes using nurse aides consistent assignment at the often recommended level of 85% (or more). Nursing homes using recommended levels of consistent assignment had significantly lower rates of turnover and of absenteeism. In the multivariate analyses, consistent assignment was significantly associated with both lower turnover and lower absenteeism (p < .01). Consistent assignment is a practice recommended by many policy makers, government agencies, and industry advocates. The findings presented here provide some evidence that the use of this staffing practice can be beneficial.

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