Task Force For Male Nursing Assistants

Men as Well
A New Avenue for Staffing in Nursing Homes
and Other Long-Term Care Settings

Abstract: Task Force of Male Nursing Assistants – Males are an important avenue for staffing of frontline positions in long term care and for helping to create more normal social environments for Person Centered Care. But many artificial barriers exist for the male who wants to work in a nurturing role. The aim of the MNA Task Force is to identify specific issues relating to benefits, recruitment, retention, acceptance, training needs of males as caregivers; and to promote the acceptance of males in the care setting. Recommendations are provided to CMS (HCFA) and others – see attached forms.

Background: A critical question being asked today is “Who will take care of Mom or Dad?” Finding and keeping frontline workers is becoming more difficult, and many facilities across the country are in crisis with staffing. People are needed to “make care happen.” It follows that it would be difficult for any facility to address issues of quality care if they did not have sufficient staff to meet the most basic care needs of their residents.

The population served by long term care is growing older and increasing in numbers, and the demand for frontline workers is increasing in response to this shift. But the reality is that a nursing home can no longer depend on the traditional pool of workers to provide adequate staffing. It is time to open new avenues for potential workers and to explore males as viable sources of frontline workers.

The issue of “Assurance of Adequate Staffing” was identified as a priority by nursing assistants at the Annual National Leadership Programs in Washington DC (1998-2004). Participants further suggested that males are an untapped source of potential workers. They recommended convening a National Task Force of Male NAs to identify and address issues of staffing; to promote community understanding of the important role of the male in care settings; and to make recommendations to legislators and public officials regarding use of males in care roles.

Purpose and Intended Outcomes: This project addresses a very critical issue of staffing for Person Centered Care  in nursing homes and has relevance also for home care and other long term care settings. Frontline workers provide as much as 90% of the direct care given in nursing homes and are the largest investment a nursing home will make. Assuring adequate staffing is a major task for the nursing administration in nursing homes. In addition, males are an important part of creating a normal social atmosphere for Person Centered Care in any care setting

An aim of the Task Force is address important workforce issues by creating a unique list of special needs, issues and recommendations relating to use of males as nursing assistants in nursing homes. Participants also will develop recommendations as well as individual and group plan of action for using these findings in their own work settings and in other areas. These lists will provide a framework to develop a project of major significance, such as a conference, or specialized curriculum for recruitment and retention of males as nursing assistants.

Many male nursing assistant find real satisfaction in nurturing roles and they also help to create a more normal social environment for those who live and work in the nursing homes. The need for competent and capable caregivers is increasing, and males offer a new avenue for staffing of frontline positions. We invite you to be a part of this important step to recruitment and wider use of males in nursing homes.

Task Force Member Responsibilities: Male nursing assistants who currently work in nursing homes and other long term care settings are invited to provide input to the group development and the Male NA Web pages by completing the enclosed questionnaire. You are also expected to provide input and complete related various tasks community education tasks through out the year.

Benefits: Our ultimate goal relates to adequacy of staffing and creating a safer and more normal social environment for the residents and the workers as well. It is estimated that two thirds of the residents are female, as many as 90% of the workers are female, and the probability of visitors being female is very high. It follows that nursing homes tends to be more “feminine.” At best it is difficult for a male resident to reaffirm his masculinity in this environment. Males can be very effective as caregivers and also help to create a more normal living environment for residents.

To participate in this project, contact:


Genevieve Gipson Director
Male NA Task Force, National Network of Career Nursing Assistants
3577 Easton Road
Norton, Ohio 44203-5661
(330) 825 9342
(330) 825 9378 – fax
Web site – www.cna-network.org