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Caregiver Retention Appears to Improve Quality of Care in Nursing Homes

February 09, 2021

Continuously employing the same nursing caregivers in the same facility may enhance nursing home quality of care, according to a study published online in The Gerontologist.  

For the investigation, researcher Nicholas G. Castle, PhD, of West Virginia University used staffing data obtained from a 2016 survey of nursing home administrators in 2898 facilities. The staffing data was then matched with Nursing Home Compare and the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting data. 

Overall, 5-year retention rates were low for nurse aides, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses, according to the study.

Yet analysis supported an association between higher caregiver retention—especially for nurse aides and registered nurses—and better overall quality at facilities. Although various retention measures had different associations with quality, 3- and 5-year retention measures showed the strongest relationships with quality of care indicators. 

“The findings presented provide some evidence that caregiver retention may be an important metric that can be used as a means of improving quality of care in nursing homes,” wrote Dr Castle. “However, the findings also show practitioners and policy makers should be more nuanced in the use of caregiver retention metrics.” 

Jolynn Tumolo


Castle NG. Measuring Caregiver Retention in Nursing Homes [published online ahead of print, 2021 Feb 1]. Gerontologist. 2021;gnab012. doi:10.1093/geront/gnab012

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