Senate Health Committee Advances Gopal Legislation to Bolster Nurse Aide Training

Trenton – In an effort to bolster the ranks of trained staff in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal that will provide a corporation business tax credit to long-term care facilities that pay for the training and certification of a certified nurse aide (CNA).

 

The bill, S-1139, would allow state-licensed, long-term care facilities and long-term care facilities that are classified as partnerships for federal income tax purposes to claim a credit against the corporate business tax if they pay for the training and certification of a person to become a certified nurse aide. The amount of the credit will be $1,000 for each person the facility pays for the training and certification, up to $3,000 per facility in a given taxable year.

 

“No other group of workers felt the full brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic like front-line workers in our long-term care facilities. These are the people responsible for feeding, bathing, talking to, sitting with, and caring for other people’s loved ones. They are on their feet all day, and many suffer from burnout,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “It is time we honor these workers by giving them reinforcements, and shoring up staff levels that will be needed to meet the demands of our growing senior population.”

 

The NJ Hospital Association highlights burnout causing CNAs to leave the profession, noting that projections indicate the nation will need 95,000 additional CNAs by 2025 to help care for our aging population. In New Jersey, even before the pandemic, nursing homes were recruiting and hiring CNAs for approximately 1,800 open positions. There is a projected demand for an additional 8,200 CNAs over the next decade.

 

“The pandemic put a spotlight on these vital and brave workers, scores of whom died in the line of duty,” added Senator Gopal. “We can’t wait until the next public health emergency to make sure long-term facilities are fully staffed up with certified trained nurse aides committed to doing the good work on behalf of our long-term care residents.”