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Legislature approves bill slashing CNA requirement in Florida nursing homes by 20%

Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Bartow, shepherded the nursing home staffing bill through the Florida Senate. Image: The Florida Channel
Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Bartow, shepherded the nursing home staffing bill through the Florida Senate. Image: The Florida Channel

A bill cutting the staffing requirements for certified nursing assistants by 20% in Florida nursing homes passed the Senate Monday and is now headed to the governor for his signature.

CNAs help with essential daily activities like being taken to the bathroom, feeding, bathing, grooming, walking, and turning the residents in their beds.

As things stand, nursing homes must provide residents with at least 2.5 hours of care from a CNA each day. The new bill reduces that to two hours.

The nursing home industry sought the change, citing the staffing crisis and a need for flexibility.

The bill retains the requirement for 3.6 hours of “direct care” but allows nursing homes to count staff time by other workers like mental health and respiratory therapists.

The CNAs themselves and senior advocates, like AARP, oppose the bill. They say it will lower the quality of care and harm seniors.

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