Activity Directors, Nurse Aides See Biggest SNF Pay Bumps in 2017

Activity directors and non-certified nurse aides enjoyed the largest pay raises — on a percentage basis — of all skilled nursing employees between 2016 and 2017, according to the latest data set from the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service.

Among salaried employees, activity directors took the crown with a bump of 3.44%, or a rise from $39,520 to $40,878. Nurse aides saw the biggest increase of any hourly employees, with wages rising from $10.53 to $10.90 per hour, or 3.50%. Staff registered nurses had a bump of 3.33%, for comparison, while certified nurse aides only took home 1.47% more in hourly wages.

These are just a few of the takeaways from the report, which the Oakland, N.J.-based service compiles annually in conjunction with the American Health Care Association (AHCA). Using data from 1,970 participating providers across the United States, the report paints a detailed picture of skilled nursing wages and staffing in a variety of settings, from continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) to traditional SNFs to independent and assisted living facilities.


Certified nursing assistants logged the highest turnover of any type of SNF staffer, with respondents reporting a rate of 38.8% — defined as the total number of vacancies, terminations, and resignations divided by actual positions. Registered nurses followed close behind with a rate of 35.7%, while dining services workers turned over at a rate of 35.1%. Top-level executives, meanwhile, had a rate of just 17.6%.

The data also show the gulf between compensation at nursing homes and pay at CCRCs: For instance, executive directors at CCRCs take in a full $40,000 more per year on average than their nursing-home counterparts, while hourly employees from licensed practical nurses and CNAs to dining staff routinely make less at nursing homes than in CCRCs: A cook can expect to bring in about $13.54 per hour at a CCRC, for example, as opposed to just $12 at a nursing home.

Written by Alex Spanko


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