September 11, 2023
Barclay Friends has found a successful, sustainable way to recruit and retain Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who provide critical care to residents daily. CNAs assist in daily living activities such as showering, transferring a
resident from one place to another, feeding assistance, and so much more.
Like many organizations , Barclay Friends recognized the need to grow the pool of CNAs proactively and ensure high standards for hiring these workers, taking great care to find people who believe and practice Kendal’s values.
For Barclay Friends, it wasn’t finding people interested in the field of work that was a challenge. Instead, the barriers of out-of-pocket costs and the time needed to devote to
training deterred people from pursuing CNA jobs.
Mariesly Febles, Education Coordinator at Barclay Friends shared, “Most people can’t commit to three weeks unpaid from their job. It could devastate the finances of the family. By providing a paid opportunity to train as a CNA, we empower them to take this next step and ultimately provide a better income for their family.”
The community has also recognized that employees who train on-site are better
aligned to Kendal’s values, which stem from its Quaker roots. Laura Smith, Director
of Health Services shares, “These individuals acclimate to these values from the getgo.
It’s helped on the recruitment and retention sides, as it organically spreads that
culture throughout our community.”
Individuals who participate in the program are paid for their training period, and
receive immediate employment, health benefits, PTO and a 503b plan following
graduation. Most importantly, they are provided with flexible scheduling
and the opportunity for future career growth.
A graduate of the CNA training program was working in a local
department store when the training director at Barclay Friends recruited
her. Kiariliz Marie Lopez Varges shared her appreciation for the new skills and opportunities she gained, “I really like it at Barclay Friends because I enjoy interacting with
As a result of being hired as an employee at Barclay Friends, Kiariliz increased her income and
pursued further education in nursing through the Tuition Assistance program. This tuition advantage is
just one more reason that people are drawn to the CNA training, knowing that the sky is the limit when it comes to continuing their education as an LPN or RN.
The program was so successful this year that Barclay Friends has committed
to continue the program, with four cohorts confirmed for 2023. The program,
which bloomed from a desire to grow the workforce pipeline, has surpassed
the community’s expectations.
The number of CNAs on campus has grown exponentially and has attracted people from diverse backgrounds who enhance the experience of all at Barclay Friends. The program has also helped to
strengthen our long-term healthcare team and the care we provide to our
residents, as many CNA graduates have gone on to become RNs and LPNs. We
are proud of these successes and look forward to continuing this important work
in the future.