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 Assisted Living Employee Retention At 60 Percent

Nearly 60 percent of all assisted living employees during 2010 remained working in their communities, an improvement compared with the 51 percent retention rate reported during 2009, according to a profession-wide study released recently by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL).

The NCAL "2010 Assisted Living Staff Vacancy, Retention and Turnover Survey" collected retention, vacancy, and turnover data for 2010 from about 600 assisted living communities—about the same as the 2009 report.

Members of the American Seniors Housing Association, the Assisted Living Federation of America, LeadingAge, and NCAL participated in the report. The statistics provide a snapshot in time about assisted living’s workforce.

“Improved retention rates indicate an increasingly stable workforce, which is vital to improved quality outcomes in assisted living and play an important role of achieving a culture of person-centered caring in our communities," says Shelley Sabo, NCAL’s director of workforce and quality improvement.

"Comparison of assisted living staff statistics that were generated from the 2009 and 2010 surveys shows a significant increase in staff retention across all job categories and a decrease of staff turnover,” the 2010 report states. “Regardless of the changes between 2009 and 2010, the pattern of retention, turnover, and vacancy remains consistent."

The turnover rate for all assisted living employees was 25 percent in 2010, down from 38 percent in 2009.

The nationwide study collected data on five major job categories covering more than 14 different positions, including administrator/executive director, director of marketing and other marketing staff, director of nurses/wellness and director of resident services, staff registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nurse assistants (CNAs), resident caregiver (non-certified), and other nursing staff. In addition, the job categories of food services, housekeeping and maintenance, and social activities were also covered.

In 2010 retention rates for non-certified resident caregivers, CNAs, and medication aides improved—ranging from 49 to 63 percent—compared with 2009 when rates ranged from 44 to 55 percent.

The turnover rate for administrators/executive directors was the lowest (11 percent) amongst all employees. For the staff registered nurse the turnover rate was 14 percent, the lowest compared with directors of nursing/ wellness and directors of resident services; licensed practical nurses, CNAs, medication aides, resident caregivers, and other nursing staff.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from

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