Empowering certified nurse's aides to improve quality of work life through a team communication program

Geriatr Nurs. 2014 Mar-Apr;35(2):132-6. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2013.11.004. Epub 2013 Nov 19.


The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the impact of a certified nurse's aide (CNA)-led interdisciplinary teamwork and communication intervention on perceived quality of work environment and six-month job intentions. CNAs are frequently excluded from team communication and decision-making, which often leads to job dissatisfaction with high levels of staff turnover. Using a mixed quantitative and qualitative approach with pre- post-program design, the intervention utilized the strategy of debriefing from the national patient safety initiative, TeamSTEPPS. Inherent in the program design, entitled Long Term Care (LTC) Team Talk, was the involvement of the CNAs in the development of the intervention as an empowering process on two wings of a transitional care unit in a long-term care facility in upstate NY. CNAs' perceptions of work environment quality were measured using a Quality of Work Life (QWL) instrument. Additionally, job turnover intent within six months was assessed. Results indicated improved scores on nearly all QWL subscales anticipated to be impacted, and enhanced perceived empowerment of the CNAs on each wing albeit through somewhat different experiential processes. The program is highly portable and can potentially be implemented in a variety of long-term care settings.

Keywords: CNA empowerment; Staff turnover; TeamSTEPPS.

MeSH terms

  • Certification
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Nursing Assistants*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Quality of Life*