"To recognize and promote the profession of Nursing Assistants in the Mid-Shore area."
The Mid-Shore Nursing Assistant Advisory Council, or MSNAAC began as a focus group in January 2011. This focus group consisted of a few local employers of Nursing Assistants, a representative from the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center, and Chesapeake College’s coordinator of the Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, program. Since then, it has expanded to the current Advisory Council, which has over 20 core members from a variety of healthcare providers, who meet monthly. It maintains communication with all area employers of CNAs as well as maintaining an updated list of employers of CNAs in the 5-county mid-shore region.
MSNAAC’s mission statement was developed early on: “To recognize the Nursing Assistant career as a specialty and advocate for the promotion of professionalism among Nursing Assistants in the Mid-Shore area.” The unique aspect of MSNAAC is its membership with representatives from employers of CNAs and educators. Sub-committees were formed to operationalize the organization's mission:
•Recognition Committee - MSNAAC has worked with area employers for the last three years to nominate their outstanding CNAs. A group of independent judges from the health care program at Chesapeake College select a "Mid-Shore CNA of the Year" from among the nominations. The annual recognition event acknowledges and appreciates all nominees and includes topical presentations.
•Education Committee - This committee utilized surveys of employers as well as CNAs to determine areas of interest for training. We have provided this information to the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board. MSNAAC has no plans to be a provider of training for CNAs. Rather, we will identify the requirements and be an advocate for the continuing education for CNAs. We are currently working with a coalition of educators and employers on an EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) grant. After successfully winning the grant we are actively involved in curriculum design and the roll out of training. In October, 2014 we conducted our first employer seminar " The Health Care Staffing Challenge" motivating and retaining CNAs. The seminar was well received and we plan to continue this program each year. In the future, as MSNAAC raises funds, we might consider offering scholarships for people to become CNA's or for incumbent CNAs to advance their education.