Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Karen Slonski


In 2008, the Institute of Medicine recommended increasing CNA training programs to 120 hours of training. In accordance with that change, the Pennsylvania Department of Education recommended that the Pennsylvania's CNA training program of a required 80 hours be increased to 120 hours of training. This increase was intended to improve CNA job performance and job satisfaction, as well as the quality of patient care. The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to understand how Certified Nurse's Aide (CNA) graduates of 100-hours or fewer training programs in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, perceived their clinical training as related to effectively performing clinical duties in a skilled nursing facility. Roger's learning theory served as a basis for analysis due to its approach of student-centered learning. Through the voices of seven CNA participants, data were collected through the implementation of in-depth interviews, surveys, and observation field notes. Data were analyzed through manual coding of themes combined with peer reviewers and record review to triangulate data. Three themes emerged: (a) CNAs perceived they were inadequately prepared to effectively complete clinical tasks, (b) a mentoring or shadowing program prior to employment reduced the physical and mental stressors and improved the quality of patient care they provided, and (c) CNAs voiced little desire to attend continuing education courses other than those provided by the nursing facility. These results may improve state curricular standards, provide insight for skilled nursing facility administrators relative to effective CNA patient care, and facilitate increased CNA job satisfaction and retention.

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