I am in full support of this petition. As a program coordinator for a hospital based program with a goal of hospital nurse aide recruitment, I can say that clinical experiences in the acute care setting would be much more beneficial for our students. Both didactic and clinical training are focused nearly exclusively on care in the long term care setting. While this may assist in forming a foundation for learning fundamental nursing skills, it does not provide for the expansion of learning in the acute care setting nor foster critical thinking skills among students. I can certainly appreciate the benefit of the long term care setting for clinical training for nursing home based programs, however, it may somewhat hinder those destined for the acute care setting in acquiring necessary skills and knowledge that will be needed.
In addition, many of the skills needed for state certification are nearly non-existent in current healthcare practice in the long term care setting. Urinary catheters and ambulation are examples of skills rarely utilized and thus neglected in teaching when focus remains on the long term care population.
In conclusion, adding the ability to complete clinical training for nurse aides in settings other than long term care would benefit both students and the patients who will be cared for by those students.