The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to strengthen Florida’s long term care workforce and attract more certified nurse assistants (CNAs) into the profession, according to FHCA Chief Executive Officer Emmett Reed.

The CaregiversFL Career Program is two-year project that will focus on raising awareness about long term care as an opportunity for career growth, enhancing the recruitment and retention efforts of Florida’s nursing centers, and building partnerships with statewide educational, workforce, and veterans' organizations to encourage individuals to make long term care their chosen career path.

The CaregiversFL Career Program will be implemented in partnership with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and will use funds from the Quality of Long-Term Care Facility Improvement Trust Fund, which was created within the Florida health agency to support activities and programs directly related to improving the quality of care for nursing home residents.

“As our elderly population increases each day, so too does the need for trained caregivers,” said Reed. “With this grant, our goal is to educate the public about the employment opportunities available in our long term care facilities and, in turn, support providers in their efforts to attract more frontline heroes to meet the needs of the residents entrusted to their care.”

“Florida is home to one of the largest elderly populations in the country,” said Simone Marstiller, secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. “We are proud to partner with the Florida Health Care Association to implement the CaregiversFL Career Program to recruit, train, and retain qualified staff to be the next generation of health care heroes to protect our most vulnerable citizens in Florida.”

The CaregiversFL Career Program, which will launch in October, includes an interactive website to help job seekers access career opportunities in Florida's long term and post-acute care profession. Florida.carefortheaging.org features state-specific education requirements, along with salaries and career-focused testimonial videos from caregivers developed to inspire high-school students, early career professionals, and job seekers looking for new opportunities to pursue a rewarding career in long term care.

The site also includes a link to open positions in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across Florida, along with a built-in interest form to capture information from site visitors, especially those seeking a new career opportunity.