Governor Walz Takes Creative Approach to Long-Term Care Staffing Shortages

In recognition of severe staffing shortages facing assisted living providers and nursing homes in Minnesota, the Chief of Staff to Governor Walz yesterday sent a message to 36,000 state employees, asking them to consider volunteering for a potential redeployment to help long-term care residents and facilities at some point in the future. “We could need assistance in communities across the state, particularly in Greater Minnesota,” the message noted. “Facilities could make use of any RNs, LPNs, or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). No prior experience is required. If needed, we will provide CNA training prior to deployment.”

While we don’t yet know how many State employees will heed the call, it underscores that your voices are being heard with regard to staffing needs and that the State is trying to figure out solutions for these unprecedented times. This initiative will take several weeks to unfold: volunteers will need to express interest; background checks will need to be conducted; accelerated training will have to be provided for unlicensed staff who would serve in CNA roles; and the State will have to finalize an agreement that it would utilize with facilities where state employees would be deployed.

The Minnesota Department of Health has invited us to work with them on some of those details, and we will keep members posted as new information is available. In the meantime, we are grateful to have this news and hopeful that it will add additional strength to the staffing resources the State can deploy to aging services providers when dire needs arise.

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