Skilled Nursing

LeadingAge California Sponsored Bill on SNF Staff Training to Be Heard

Please Take Action Now To Support AB 1709

AB 1709 (Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles), a LeadingAge California sponsored bill, was introduced on February 22, 2019. This bill would create a pathway for more nursing home administrators to become preceptors by encouraging different and innovative approaches to training.

California is experiencing a crisis-level shortage in the skilled long-term care workforce. Currently, there are approximately 1,200 SNFs in California serving the needs of as many as 370,00 residents annually, and that number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. In addition to the well-publicized shortage in front-line direct care staff, SNFs are also finding it more difficult to recruit qualified and well-trained nursing home administrators. Nursing home administrators play a critical role in a skilled nursing setting, as they are typically responsible for the broad-based oversight of staff development, financial management and care delivery.

AB 1709 would create a pathway for more nursing home administrators to become preceptors, and help train the next generation of future leaders in long-term care communities. Preceptors are responsible for training individuals who have met the qualifications to participate in the Administrator-in-Training program to become a licensed nursing home administrator. Current law requires that the preceptor must be the designated administrator of the facility where the training is conducted. There are currently only 368 administrators qualified as preceptors, thereby limiting the amount of individuals who can mentored at one time.

AB 1709 would provide for a flexible approach for training new administrators, allowing multi-facility organizations the ability to train more than one administrator at a time. This flexibility will ensure that the Administrator-in-Training is trained consistently and comprehensively on all the responsibilities, policies and procedures within the program. Furthermore, this bill would exempt nursing home administrators from their continuing education requirements for the first two years after licensure, consistent with other healthcare professional standards.

Recent Amendments

On April 11, 2019, AB 1709 was amended to remove the proposed reduction of Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) continuing education requirements from 48 hours to 30 hours. After extensive conversations with stakeholders and the Health committee, it became apparent that there was some concern to reducing C.N.A. continuing education hours without further discussion. LeadingAge California is disappointed that this provision was amended from the bill, but we are moving forward with our discussions around nursing home administrators and preceptors, and look forward to revisiting direct care staff continuing education requirements next session.

How to Take Action

It’s easy to show your support: simply put this sample letter on your organization’s letterhead, fill in the blanks, and submit it to the Assembly Health Committee via their website (click on Submit a Position Letter).

Timeline

Your letters are needed immediately. Letters must be submitted to the Assembly Health Committee by 12:00pm on Wednesday, March 23rd

Contact Jedd Hampton, Director of Public Policy at jhampton@leadingageca.org for more information.