The WisCaregiver Careers Program, a program aimed at increasing the number of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in Wisconsin, will be receiving $6 million in additional funding to expand the program beginning in summer 2022.
“Supporting and strengthening Wisconsin’s long-term care workforce is a critical part of addressing the health care workforce shortage statewide,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “With this investment, we will expand a program that is working and build our efforts to grow a workforce ready to support Wisconsin’s health needs today and in the future.”
During the Omicron surge of the pandemic, there were more than 600 patients a day in Wisconsin hospitals ready for discharge but awaiting a post-acute care placement, significantly impacting hospital capacity. Nursing homes often cited staffing shortages as a main reason for not accepting the patients.
The additional $6 million for the WisCaregiver Careers Program, funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Nursing Home & Long-term Care Facility Strike Team program, comes on top of substantial state and federal funding that has been directed at bolstering the long-term care workforce since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the WisCaregiver Careers website
, the new funding will support training, testing and at least $500 in bonuses during the first six months on the job for as many as 3,000 new CNAs.