There is no question that building a pipeline of new nurses is key to filling the 1,500 vacant LPN positions in Massachusetts nursing facilities! To assist members with growing their own nurses, MSCA is pleased to release a new toolkit detailing steps in upskilling incumbent CNAs to LPNs. While there are still spaces available for the upcoming fall 2023 semester, time is of the essence for individuals interested in pursuing this option as most schools make their admission decisions no later than late spring. We encourage members to review the Toolkit and take the following steps immediately to secure admission in the upcoming fall 2023 semester:
- Recruit incumbent CNAs who have a positive work history in your facility and demonstrated readiness for college level courses.
- Reach out to your local LPN programs, let them know how many employees you have applying, confirm seat availability and entrance exam dates.
- Support your LPN candidates to complete the school’s application and submit ASAP.
- Support your LPN candidates to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Support your LPN candidates to register for the required entrance exam through their school of choice.
Upskilling incumbent workers is a proven successful strategy with many benefits. It’s a win for employers who need to build an adequate workforce, a win for employees as it provides a vital opportunity for career and wage advancement, and a win for improving workforce equity between front line employees and supervisors. The current nursing workforce is largely white, while the current CNA workforce is largely people of color. By upskilling incumbent CNAs, members have the opportunity to be intentional in building a nursing workforce of leaders and supervisors who greater represent the workers and patients they support.
In addition to MSCAs current FY 2024 budget legislative advocacy which seeks an additional $112 million in new workforce funding for wage growth, training investments and the hiring of additional staff, MSCA and Social Finance are actively working to secure funding to assist participating members with costs associated with upskilling CNAs to LPNs. Together, we are applying to Commonwealth Corporation for funding via the Senator Donnelly Workforce Success grant that would significantly reduce the cost to employers for this pipeline program. We look forward to working with members on upskilling our dedicated CNAs to LPNs!