History of Iowa CareGivers

Iowa CareGivers, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, was founded in 1992 by a former nurse assistant who understands first-hand the challenges of being a DCP.  Iowa CareGivers exists to ensure that ALL Iowans receive good care and support when and where they need it.  Iowa CareGivers does this by serving the needs of the DCPs who provide most of that care and support.  The Iowa CareGivers offers educational conferences; leadership, mentor, and advocacy training; newsletters; website; and other resources tailored to DCPs.

What is Iowa CareGivers' Mission?

Iowa CareGivers' mission is to enhance the quality of care by providing education, recognition, advocacy, and research in support of those who work in the field of direct care.

A Direct Care Professional’s Go-to-Place for Personal and Professional Development and Peer Networking.

History of “A Call to Mentoring”© Program

Iowa CareGivers’s original mentor program, “A Call to Mentoring”©, was developed and piloted in 1998 as part of the state supported Certified Nurse Assistant Recruitment and Retention pilot project.  While the project focused on Certified Nursing Assistants in nursing home settings and is more than ten years old, the findings are worth noting.

Two pages of Brad Richardson's report.


In 2003, Iowa CareGivers became Iowa’s lead organization on a national Better Jobs Better Care (BJBC) grant project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies.  The purpose of the BJBC project was to establish policies and practices to improve recruitment and retention of DCPs.  The mentor program was revised as part of the BJBC project and was used as an intervention to aid in DCP retention.

In both cases, Iowa CareGivers’s “A Call to Mentoring”© was proven to be effective in significantly reducing DCP turnover. 

Introduction: Page 4