Staff training has proven to be a major hurdle for nursing home operators looking to recruit and retain staff, as staff shortages have brought many employees to their breaking points and punitive monetary penalties prevent operators to create their own training programs.
Not only are the resources scattered, but the employees and those looking to enter the industry may not be the typical candidates. In other words, they don’t necessarily sit at a desk all day and don’t have time to focus in a classroom.
Smaller, more time-sensitive training sessions have become the focus of a partnership between operator Principle LTC and the Learn to Win training platform – Principle will be the first nursing home chain to participate in courses micro-training with the education company, which has developed a curriculum for the pharmaceutical industry and the US military.
“The cost of education through current learning mechanisms is significant, but it is difficult to
measure their effectiveness. Plus, they’re not necessarily the most enjoyable, interactive, nor do they consistently provide an elevated learning experience,” said Lynn Hood, CEO of Principle LTC.
Principle, based in North Carolina, operates 45 facilities in three states.
Sasha Seymore, CEO of California-based Learn to Win, said he sees a “similar type of learner”, in terms of people whose jobs require them to be highly mobile.
“It was the kind of thing that could really meet people where they were,” Seymore said of the platform. “I was really excited to take [Principle’s] subject matter expertise in this space and apply it to our experience as experts in how people learn and learn effectively.
Principle and Learn to Win first partnered less than a year ago; the operator will be the subject matter expert while the company creates the program and the technology to support it. The nursing home curriculum is in an early design phase, Hood said, with a trial rollout expected to take place in late summer or early fall.
The initial set of micro-learning modules will focus on more than 20 mandatory continuing education courses that all frontline staff must pass to comply with regulations.
The rollout for wider consumption is expected to take place during the fourth fiscal quarter of 2022, Seymore said. The price of the product is still being ironed out, Hood and Seymore said.
“We are really looking forward to starting the design and development of our modules, using
the Learn to Win platform – and measure the impact it has,” added Hood.
The Learn to Win platform breaks everything down into micro-learning or “chunks” of information,
Hood said it’s easier for staff to succeed at every stage. It is “active learning”
model” as well, where students regularly interact with common quiz questions to assess knowledge along the way.
“When you achieve something that makes it more fun and you want to do more,” she said.
The partnership grew out of Principle’s connection with Eli Lilly – the operator took part in clinical trials of Covid drugs for the pharmaceutical giant.
Learn to Win was originally designed to help sports teams and artists learn playbooks faster and more efficiently, according to Seymore.
Now, through its partnership with Principle, Learn to Win will design a training program for another highly demanding and mobile profession.
“We’re basically bringing all of these best practices in adult education and learning to high-performing environments,” Seymore said. “[Skilled nursing] was this very, very regulated environment, what we see in the pharmaceutical industry and what we’ve seen throughout the military. It was that really high level of performance and the consequences if you got it wrong.
The platform saw a 30-50% improvement in student performance from the app, Seymour said, when Learn to Win was tested at the University of North Carolina.
“We’re never going to give someone a 10 minute video because we know by the fourth minute they’re going to totally fall apart. We will never give them static content. We want to make sure learners are engaged all the time,” Seymore added.
Hood hopes the platform will not only improve pass rates, but also the particular topics that give staff a hard time.
“If we do a HIPAA training for example, which includes 30 key points, and two of the thirty
prove difficult, we can easily modify both of these to improve the learning experience, and
re-measure them again for success,” Hood said.
Non-traditional learning environments
Many nursing home workers don’t have a traditional education, Hood said, meaning there’s no college and minimal high school.
“The opportunity to learn through interaction and engagement is huge,” she said. “Historic learning environments include clinical labs, classrooms, and online settings, which are not
still the most effective way for adults to learn, and it’s not always affordable. We hope the
The Learn to Win model will deliver an enhanced learning experience, with better profitability.
Hood hopes to start measuring how well people are learning to use this platform, especially non-traditional learners, to advance their own careers.
This translates into a career ladder for Dietary Aides to become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and CNAs to become Registered Nurses or choose other specialties within the industry.
As Principle begins to measure the quality of people’s learning using this platform, “the sky’s the limit” on how companies can design this to provide not just mandatory ongoing training, but the opportunity to help nontraditional learners advance their careers, Hood said.
Creating more educational paths also helps retention and loyalty, according to Hood, because employees remember fair and consistent training.
“Every time you invest in your employees, you’re investing in retention, and you’re investing in their future and your future,” Hood said.