Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Link to University of Wisconsin-Madison home page
The Wisconsin Idea in Action

Educational opportunities for nursing assistants and personal care workers

The Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) organizes one-day conferences for health care paraprofessionals – certified nurse assistants (CNAs), personal care workers (PCWs) and other direct care staff. Although these workers provide nearly all the direct care for older adults in long-term care settings, they rarely have access to continuing education opportunities. Conference presentations address caring for people living with dementia, sustaining mobility, addressing urinary incontinence and supporting resident-resident relationships, as well as reducing their stress. From 2014 to 2019, we organized eight conferences around the state, reaching more than 700 direct care staff, including many working in rural areas.


Conference participants receive instruction and hands-on active learning on topics including vision changes with age, supporting older adult mobility and understanding dementia "behaviors" as communication. The more than 700 conference participants to date overwhelmingly rate the information as useful and something they will use in their work with older adults. We also organize tabling by organizations, such as the Aging and Disability Resource Center and Wisconsin Personal Services Association, to connect participants with local resources.

Focus Areas

Project Leader

Diane Farsetta
Senior Outreach Specialist, Center For Aging Research And Education

Center for Aging Research and Education
School or College
School of Nursing

This project was last updated on Aug 15, 2019. Do you have an update for this project? Find out how to contribute.