WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg Landing, a not-for-profit life plan community in James City County, is taking an active role in addressing a local healthcare workforce shortage by partnering with Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC) and The Arc of Greater Williamsburg to recruit and develop caregivers.
The entire long-term care industry is facing a 15-year labor low, with over 400,000 jobs lost between 2020 and 2022. According to LeadingAge Virginia, an association of not-for-profit aging services organizations, Virginia’s senior population is projected to increase by over 50% — from 1.3 million in 2017 to 1.9 million in 2040. Of Williamsburg’s population, 16% is 65 and over and will need vital services and supports from professional caregivers as they age.
Williamsburg Landing has already begun to address the growing demand for nursing care, looking for opportunities to grow and advance the careers of its employees, including establishing “career ladders” that ensure its staff can rise from entry-level positions to high-level positions within the organization.
“Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) play such a critical role in the day-to-day care of our
residents,” said Brandy Day, Chief Talent Officer at Williamsburg Landing. “When an exceptional CNA expresses a desire to progress in his or her personal career ladder, the Advanced Nurse Aide program provides the perfect opportunity.”
Utilizing funds from a grant secured by LeadingAge Virginia, Blue Ridge Community
College developed the curriculum for the Advanced Nurse Aide program, which
consists of combined classroom and clinical coursework. Topics covered include person-centered care, leadership and mentoring, care of cognitively impaired residents, and restorative care.
Over the past several months, Williamsburg Landing has been in discussions with Paula Crew, RN, Primary Nurse Aide Adjunct Instructor at Virginia Peninsula Community College, as well as representatives from Blue Ridge Community College and Northern Virginia Community College, to determine the viability of offering the Advanced Nurse Aide program at to Certified Nurse Aides in the local area.
“Currently, this program is available in northern and southwestern Virginia, but not in the Tidewater area. Williamsburg Landing is excited to partner with VPCC to bring this exciting career opportunity to local caregivers,” Day explained.
“The residents of Williamsburg Landing have established an Employee Education &
Training Fund that all employees are eligible for. This fund will cover the cost for
employees who desire to pursue the Advanced CNA program,” Day continued. “The Fund also provided an opportunity for two clients of another local nonprofit, Literacy for Life, to earn their CNA certification and gainful employment with us.”
In addition to partnerships with Virginia Peninsula Community College and Literacy for Life, Williamsburg Landing is a longtime supporter of The ARC of Greater Williamsburg, hosting its annual 5K for many years and working with its clients to secure employment opportunities.
The program is currently slated for a fall launch depending on Virginia Peninsula Community College’s ability to secure adjunct faculty. Any CNAs who wish to pursue this opportunity can learn more on the Williamsburg Landing website.