Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan K. Stanley

Third Advisor

Dr. James Shuls


The expectation of the impact of an aging population and the future availability of nursing staff is a significant challenge for senior living communities around the world. Lack of nursing staff retention has driven managers to hire quickly, denying residents living in long-term care communities the care they need. Exploratory, qualitative design, using case study research, was used for this study to learn what motivates resident care attendants (RCAs) to stay employed in assisted living communities of senior living. Richard Finnegan’s five stay interview questions were used to interview nine RCAs from various assisted living communities in Louisiana. The data obtained from the interviews were coded, evaluated, and examined using thematic analysis. The results of the study showed that the employees enjoy working with seniors, admire leaders and coworkers, prioritize self-care, and appreciate opportunities for professional development. The findings suggest that innovative retention strategies are required to retain RCAs in the senior living industry. As more job choices and career opportunities evolve for people working in health care, senior community administrators need to re-evaluate best practices to retain and attract a quality nursing staff.