The Gerontologist
 QUICK SEARCH:   [advanced]


This Article
Right arrow Full Text
Right arrow Full Text (PDF)
Right arrow Alert me when this article is cited
Right arrow Alert me if a correction is posted
Right arrow Similar articles in this journal
Right arrow Similar articles in PubMed
Right arrow Alert me to new issues of the journal
Right arrow Download to citation manager
Google Scholar
Right arrow Articles by Pillemer, K.
Right arrow Articles by Schultz, L.
Right arrow PubMed Citation
Right arrow Articles by Pillemer, K.
Right arrow Articles by Schultz, L.
The Gerontologist 48:80-89 (2008)
© 2008 The Gerontological Society of America

A Facility Specialist Model for Improving Retention of Nursing Home Staff: Results From a Randomized, Controlled Study

Karl Pillemer, PhD1,2, Rhoda Meador, MS2, Charles Henderson, Jr., MA2, Julie Robison, PhD3, Carol Hegeman, MS4, Edwin Graham5 and Leslie Schultz2

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Karl Pillemer, Human Development, MVR Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. E-mail: kap6{at}

Purpose: This article reports on a randomized, controlled intervention study designed to reduce employee turnover by creating a retention specialist position in nursing homes. Design and Methods: We collected data three times over a 1-year period in 30 nursing homes, sampled in stratified random manner from facilities in New York State and Connecticut and randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions. Staff outcomes were measured through certified nursing assistant interviews, and turnover rates were measured over the course of the year. In the intervention condition, a staff member was selected to be the facility retention specialist, who would advocate for and implement programs to improve staff retention and commitment throughout the facility. Retention specialists received an intensive 3-day training in retention leadership and in a number of evidence-based retention programs. Ongoing support was provided throughout the project. Results: Treatment facilities experienced significant declines in turnover rates compared to control facilities. As predicted, we found positive effects on certified nursing assistant assessments of the quality of retention efforts and of care provided in the facility; we did not find effects for job satisfaction or stress. Implications: The study provides evidence for the effectiveness of the retention specialist model. Findings from a detailed process evaluation suggest modifications of the program that may increase program effects.

Key Words: Long-term care • Staff retention • Employee turnover • Certified nursing assistants • Nurses

All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2008 by The Gerontological Society of America.