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More training incentives for registered nurses


New program from CalGrows

The importance of having people trained to take care of the elderly is an essential part of residential training to becoming an RN. CalGrows,operated by the California Department of  Aging (CDA), is helping medical personnel nurses by providing free online and in-person training to get ahead of a potential shortage of registered nurses.

Renita Polk, a spokesperson with the CDA,. cited estimates that, by 2030, one-fourth of all Californian’s 10.8 million people will be at least 60 years old and require another 3.2 million caregivers and healthcare workers to provide “varying levels of care.”

“This is a tangible investment in caregivers, acknowledging their vital role and representing California’s diverse communities and providing people with the quality care they deserve,” said Polk.

The state program allows home health workers, the backbone of California health care, to earn up to $6,000 for learning and using new skills. However, time is running out for caregivers to sign up, as the program ends in August.

Experts are looking at the medical field as an ever-improving industry, resulting in the possibility of elderly people living longer with chronic conditions. Some need more help than others, but the lack of proper training for nurses for even day-to-day stuff is concerning experts. 

“This is a massive problem,” said Dr. V.J. Periyakoil, director of Stanford University’s GE Research Center and its School of Medicine’s Palliative Care Education and Training program. “It’s not a ‘them’ problem, it’s an ‘us’ problem.”

The Department of Aging’s Connie Nakano said that about 6,000 people have completed more than 25,000 courses and earned more than $2 million in incentives while becoming better trained and able to provide the support that seniors and their families need. To be eligible for the program, you have to be an unlicensed caregiver, certified home care aide, or certified nursing assistant working in California. Free career-advancement training is open to those providing unpaid care to older adults or people with disabilities — including friends and family — in a home or community setting, though incentives don’t apply.

CalGrows is “a comprehensive program,” said Anni Chung, CEO of San Francisco’s Self Help for the Elderly organization, which has been operating since 1966 and currently serves more than 40,000 clients annually with health, educational, social, and recreational services.

“It allows us an opportunity to train our staff of 411 employees,” she said, and provide the training updates they need to recertify every two years.