State of Delaware Offers Tuition Incentive To Attract Certified Nurse Assistants

December 8, 2023

DOVER, Del. — To address nurse staffing challenges impacting state-operated facilities, the State of Delaware is implementing an innovative tuition incentive program to enhance the recruitment of Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) in the state’s workforce starting December 1, 2023.

Following a public request for proposal process, Delaware’s Department of Human Resources has selected three agencies to train CNAs, with the State covering the tuition cost for CNA candidates of up to $3,000 per student. The three training facilities selected are: Bear Professional Institute, Inc, the Delaware Skills Center, and Sussex County Vocational Technical School District. The program provides a pathway for individuals with some nursing experience to obtain certification while securing employment with the state.

The State operates four healthcare facilities at the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and the Department of State (DOS), including the Delaware Psychiatric Center, the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill, the Delaware Veterans Home and Stockley Center. These facilities provide medical services to senior citizens, veterans, and residents with severe mental health and physical disabilities.

“With Delaware experiencing the same nurse staffing challenges as every other state, we are offering this first-ever tuition incentive to attract more state employees to serve as certified nurse assistants,” said Claire DeMatteis, Secretary of the Department of Human Resources. “With certified nurse assistant vacancy rates of 40-50% in our state-operated healthcare facilities, it puts additional pressure on licensed and registered nurses in these facilities. With this new tuition incentive, along with signing and retention incentives for all types of nurses in our state facilities, we are investing significant state resources for the health and well-being of some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Participants are required to commit to working with the state for two years following their certification. DHR is pursuing a similar tuition incentive plan for licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

“I work for the State of Delaware because it’s a dynamic organization with plenty of professional development opportunities, great health benefits and a family-oriented culture. The educational opportunities provided have given me the knowledge to better understand the residents and deliver quality care. With hard work and determination, you can advance your career while working for the state,” said Hannah Sackey, a dedicated CNA currently serving in the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill.”

Once certified, CNAs receive a state salary of $34,000 along with a comprehensive compensation package, which includes health benefits, retirement benefits, paid time off, learning and development opportunities, employee assistance programs, recognition programs, and employee discounts.

Interested individuals are encouraged to apply for current nursing assistant job opportunities (Job Code-UDCD01) at one of the four state-operated facilities through the Delaware Employment Link at https://statejobs.delaware.gov/. For questions, please contact Germaine Harris, Nurse Recruiting Manager at 302-255-9148 or Germaine.Harris@delaware.gov.