Arkansas State Veterans Home Fayetteville In Need of CNA's and Nurses

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) -- The Arkansas State Veterans Home in Fayetteville is experiencing a shortage of nurses and certified nursing assistants.

According to Chief Administrative Officer Buster McCall of the veterans home, there is currently a shortage of 17 CNA's and 5 licensed practical nurses.

But the facility is already making changes to attract more high quality professionals.

McCall says a 10% geographical increase will allow CNA's to have a competitive starting salary of $13.77 an hour. For nurses, there will be a competitive benefits package that includes 11 holidays, 12 vacation days, and if needed 12 sick days that new employees would accrue each year.

McCall also said there is the ability to add up to 15% to starting pay for someone with a lot of experience.

"Our dad is 91 years old and he's in a wheelchair now and you have a lot of veterans who are in wheelchairs who need special care, and so you need those CNA's to help with mobility issues," Donna Daniels said.

Daniels says the care her father receives at the Arkansas State Veterans home in Fayetteville has been phenomenal, but more staffing is necessary.

"Also proper staffing so that the staff doesn't get burned out, because that's a pretty intense job and from a family perspective it's a very important job," Daniels said.

"We're seeing a shortage in healthcare providers across the board, and it's been something we are working with to be more competitive with other similar homes across the area," McCall said.

McCall says temporary staff have helped with this shortage. "We've been able to fill in the gaps for now with temporary support from agencies around the area and that's helped tremendously."

But Daniels says she would like to see more permanent hires. "It's important that elderly people in a residential home like that have consistent care and so when they see strange faces, while they give good care, they don't know the residents likes and dislikes."

McCall says changes have been made, and now it's time to implement them.

"This is a great opportunity, where else can you serve our nations veterans in a place where you're trying to help make a home."

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