I recently read two interesting articles that supports the contention that providing a living wage to CNAs improves the quality of care at nursing homes.  The Dickinson Press reported that the booming oil industry in North Dakota has caused a bidding war for workers resulting in a shortage of workers for nursing homes.  The average statewide pay for a certified nursing aide with experience at a nursing facility is $13.58 an hour.  Fast food workers are getting $18 an hour.

“The staffing is in crisis in many areas of the state, especially in northwest North Dakota,” said Shelly Peterson, president of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association, which represents nursing homes and care facilities. “We’re not staying competitive, and we’re below the market,” she added. “We need funding to ensure we have the staff.”

Last year, 14 percent of nursing facilities stopped admissions because of insufficient staffing, and 68 nursing facilities reported 751 openings as of July, according to figures from the North Dakota Long Term Care Association.

However, the higher wages improves the quality of the staff employed by the nursing home.  Inspections of North Dakota nursing homes resulted in the lowest number of serious deficiencies in a review of reports for all 50 states.  North Dakota nursing homes had one serious deficiency during the past three years, and had the lowest rate of serious deficiencies in the nation. North Dakota’s rate of serious deficiencies per nursing home was 0.01.

See article at Inforum here.