Employees at Small SNFs Take Away More from Training

Despite often having fewer resources, smaller skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) know how to help their staff make the most of the training they receive—more so than their larger SNF counterparts.

Though larger facilities tend to have more sophisticated training technology, small facilities have strong methods for evaluating whether skills taught during training are being applied in caregivers’ day-to-day work, according to a staff development and training survey conducted by Relias Learning, a provider of online training programs for healthcare operators.

“The methods that smaller organizations may use to assess whether skills learned in training are being put into practice on the job may include assessments, observations before and after, and analytics,” M. Courtney Hughes, Ph.D., M.S., author of the survey and senior researcher at Relias Institute, told Skilled Nursing News.


The report includes responses from more than 700 post-acute care professionals from SNFs, senior living communities, and home health care agencies, 16% of which hold executive or senior management positions.

Of those respondents, 86% reported that their organizations use online training methods for at least half or all of training. Over half surveyed use learning management systems (LMS) software and a formal analytics program.

“Our study revealed that the greatest perceived strengths of current staff development and training programs include flexibility, the variety of courses, and individualization of methods,” Hughes said.


The most important outcomes of training for post-acute care organizations are improving clinical practice standardization, clinical competencies, and service or program outcomes, according to the survey.

“The main perceived weaknesses of current staff development and training programs for these organizations are staff shortages and lack of time,” said Hughes. “This is not surprising given the high staff turnover rates and increasing demands placed on staff, including higher patient acuity levels.”

Written by Elizabeth Jakaitis

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