Perspectives on certification of community health workers: A statewide mixed-methods assessment in Nebraska

Jessica Ern, Virginia Chaidez, Kate E. Trout, Kathy Karsting, Dejun Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: While the Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce in the United States has been growing, so far only 19 states certify CHWs. This study sought to identify perspectives on CHW certification among stakeholders in Nebraska, a state that has not established official certification for CHWs yet. Design: A concurrent triangulation mixed methods design. Sample: Study data came from a survey of 142 CHWs in Nebraska and interviews with 8 key informants employing CHWs conducted in 2019. Methods: Logistic regression was used to identify significant factors associated with favoring CHW certification, supplemented by thematic analysis of qualitative data from CHWs and key informants. Results: The majority (84%) of CHWs were in favor of a statewide CHW certification in Nebraska, citing community benefits, workforce validation, and standardization of knowledge as the main reasons. Participant characteristics associated with favoring CHW certification included younger age, racial minority, foreign born, education lower than bachelor's degree, volunteering as a CHW, and employed for less than 5 years as a CHW. Key informants employing CHWs were divided in whether Nebraska should develop a state certification program. Conclusions: While most CHWs in Nebraska wanted to have a statewide certification program, employers of CHWs were less sure of the need for certification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-542
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • certification
  • community health
  • community health workers
  • health workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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