Send to

Choose Destination
J Holist Nurs. 2019 Sep;37(3):296-308. doi: 10.1177/0898010119834180. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Improving Retention Among Certified Nursing Assistants Through Compassion Fatigue Awareness and Self-Care Skills Education.

Author information

South Carolina Department of Mental Health.
University of South Carolina.


Background: Retention of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) is an ongoing challenge for nursing homes. Purpose: To combat the effects of providing complex care needs to residents, this quality improvement project explored a 90-minute evidence-based education program on compassion fatigue awareness and multiple self-care skill strategies for CNA retention. Design: A single-group pre- and posttest design, mixed-methods approach. Method: A preintervention demographic survey, a postexperience survey, and the ProQOL (Professional Quality of Life; Version 5) tool measured the CNAs' level of compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress at three time points: preintervention, 1 month postintervention, and 3 months postintervention. Results: Forty-five CNAs participated. After 1 month, CNA retention increased by 43%, and at the end of the fourth month, the facility's retention rate was 100%. Forty-four percent of the full-time supplemental agency CNAs became full-time facility employees. The use of supplemental agency staff decreased to less than 5% of the total CNA hours worked. CNAs improved their compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress scores. Conclusion: This education program proved to be an effective, low-cost intervention. The quality improvement project highlighted the need for additional study on holistic interventions such as workplace education programs addressing compassion fatigue awareness and self-care skill strategies in this understudied group of formal caregivers.


burnout; certified nursing assistant; compassion fatigue; long-term care; nursing homes; retention; self-care; veterans


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center