Effects of certified nursing assistant program commitment on perceptions of work conditions in Austin area nursing homes
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Previous research suggests certified nursing assistants may have more positive perceptions of their work conditions, may be less likely to leave their jobs and may also providing better quality care to residents when nursing homes provide interventions such as programs, awards and incentives to their employees. Research has not addressed CNA commitment to these programs and how commitment may interact with the relationship between program participation and work condition outcomes. When CNA's are not committed, any program would have a hard time succeeding. Survey data was collected from 100 certified nursing assistants from seven nursing homes in the Austin area. The survey instrument consisted of four parts soliciting information about CNA demographics, program information and levels of commitment, perceptions of work conditions (empowerment, worker-supervisor relationship, job strain, intent to turnover and job satisfaction) and open-ended questions. Follow-up interviews were conducted with nursing home administrators. The nursing homes were offering a variety of programs, however none were particularly innovative and it appeared that the programs were not successfully integrating the CNA participants into the facility culture. There was no organized effort by nursing home management to develop or improve programs, increase participation or increase commitment among program participants. While only 30 out of 100 CNAs were participating in programs, nursing home effort to increase participation and actual CNA participation were positively correlated; CNAs participating in programs were moderately committed and there was a positive relationship between nursing home effort to increase program commitment and actual CNA commitment. These results indicate more effort is needed to develop and implement programs and increase program participation and commitment. In the absence of programs, certified nursing assistants in the sample still had relatively positive perceptions of their work conditions. There was however, quite a bit of variation within the sample leading me to conclude that more and better programs, along with increased effort to improve participation and develop program commitment, would have a positive impact on perceptions of work conditions. I was unable to determine the role of program commitment in the relationship between program participation and perceived work conditions. Previous research has shown organizational commitment contributes to an organizations’ success. The same should hold true for a specific programs’ success.