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Wages for Key Assisted Living Clinical Workers Rose 5% to 6% in 2023

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Wages for many key health care workers in assisted living increased between 5% and 6% on average last year.

That’s according to the latest edition of the Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report from Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS), which is produced in collaboration with LeadingAge and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). The HCS data was gleaned from survey responses from 961 assisted living communities, and the effective date of the data was October 2023.

Certified nurse aides (CNAs), registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), medication aides and resident assistants (RAs) all experienced average hourly rate increases in the 5% to 6% range, according to an HCS press release issued Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, turnover ticked down on a year-over-year basis for those positions. And sign-on bonuses for these clinical workers — offered by about 57% of those who responded to the salary survey in 2023 and the year prior — also increased roughly 5% to 6% over that time period.

The reduction in turnover reflects comments about improving labor metrics that several operator executives recently shared with SHN. This is a welcome trend following several years of intense labor woes and workforce disruption — and concerns over labor costs.

During the first quarter of 2023, senior living providers had about 402,956 RN vacancies, 84,030 CNA vacancies and 53,570 LPN vacancies, according to data from LivingPath. Median salaries also had been on the upswing:

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Breaking down some of the latest compensation report findings on a state-by-state basis, CNAs in Washington state ranked highest at $19.99 per hour in 2023, with the 50th percentile for CNAs being at $17.94 on a nationwide basis. Conversely, CNAs in Georgia came in at $15.00 an hour.

Increases for CNAs, RNs and other clinical workers might be less substantial in 2024 compared with 2023 — the average planned increase in base pay for CNAs is 3.38% and for RNs/LPNs is 3.50%. However, this data on planned increases was drawn from all respondents to the HCS survey, while the 5% to 6% average increase in hourly pay for 2023 statistic was derived by analyzing only those respondents who participated in the survey in 2022 and last year.

In terms of two key leadership positions in assisted living, CEO/president salaries increased 2% last year, while assisted living administrator salaries increased 3.53%, according to the report.

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