Demand for Licensed Nursing Assistants Grows – New Program Seeks to Fill Gaps in Portsmouth and Statewide

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April 1, 2020

Portsmouth, NH – While many sectors of the economy have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and job losses have spiked, the need for caregivers has grown and employment opportunities exist across New Hampshire. One of the greatest demand areas is for licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) in nursing homes. The Edgewood Centre, an independent nursing home and long term care facility in Portsmouth is in need of LNAs and is participating in a new state program designed to quickly train and license LNAs at no cost and move them into jobs that can serve as a gateway to a career in healthcare.

The statewide campaign called “NH Needs Caregivers” launched in late March. Run by the New Hampshire Health Care Association (NHHCA), the effort plans to recruit, assist and place upwards of 700 individuals in nursing homes across the state as LNAs. Individuals can be trained in as little as three to four weeks for these critical healthcare roles and vacancies currently exist and are in high demand statewide. Training funds are available for those workers who have been displaced or are eligible for Medicaid and additional efforts are underway to cover training costs for all.

“This shortage is so extreme that it limits the number of people we can have at our nursing homes. We are in a time where we need to quickly become fully staffed to address current and future needs and are hopeful that some of the individuals who have been displaced would consider a role in healthcare to work with those in our population that need compassionate care,” said Patricia Ramsey, CEO of The Edgewood Centre.

The campaign includes helping interested individuals find a nursing home LNA position, enrolling them in training, assisting with and covering the cost of the training and providing them with a $500 bonus after six months of being hired. The Edgewood Centre is working with officials to put online and classroom training in place by early April. Classroom training for healthcare is deemed a necessary service and is allowable during New Hampshire’s Stay-at-Home emergency order.

People can sign up online at NHneedscaregivers.org and will be notified as training opportunities are developed. A detailed database and website are being built to house all information on available jobs and training and will be launched within the month. It is funded through a $641,000 grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“We’re in an unprecedented place right now in New Hampshire and across the country. While COVID-19 strains our healthcare systems and has displaced thousands of people locally, we’re hoping that more people will consider a career in caregiving to meet this massive need and challenge. That’s what the NH Needs Caregivers campaign is all about,” said Brendan Williams, president and CEO of the NHHCA. 

Individuals interested in training in Portsmouth that can lead to a position at The Edgewood Centre can contact Donna Maloney, director of human resources at 603-766-2340 or HR@edgewoodcentre.com. Questions about the NH Needs Caregivers program can be directed to Roxie Severance at roxie@rsconsulting.services or 603-733-6072.

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