Need a job? This program could entice you to become a certified nursing assistant

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Article via The Olympian
By Rolf Boone

Imagine this: A one-month college program in which tuition, fees, books, supplies and certification costs are covered for 10 lucky students.

South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, working with Providence Health & Services, announced Monday that they will offer a fully funded, one-month pathway to work for 10 future certified nursing assistants.

College spokeswoman Kelly Green described CNAs as a “critical entry-level support position.”

“Health care agencies nationwide are having trouble filling the positions,” she said.

There are a lot of CNA programs, but often those students choose to go on to become nurses rather than to become an assistant, creating demand for the position, Providence spokesman Chris Thomas said. Combine that shortfall with an aging population that needs assistance and there is even more demand, he said.

The Providence St. Peter Foundation will provide the scholarships for the labs and classes that will take place at SPSCC. A second, 10-student program will be funded by a grant, Green said.

In addition to more than $1,100 in financial assistance per student, the program also is offering job placement services at Providence Mother Joseph Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Olympia.

“Successful students will have the opportunity to be hired by the care center upon graduation and certification,” a news release reads.

Starting wages for CNAs at Providence are in the range of $15-$18 per hour, spokesman Thomas said.

Although the core program is a month long, student screening to employment takes place over a longer period of time, Green said.

To learn more about the scholarships and program, interested students should attend an open house information session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 26 in building 34, room 209, at SPSCC’s Olympia campus. Students are urged to register in advance.

If you have questions about the program, call Dean of Nursing Laurie Choate at 360-596-5298.