Thursday, November 1, 2018

Mid-Carolina AHEC Certified Nurse Aide Training Program Graduates First Cohort


Back row (left to right): Jana Hough, RN; Nikista Catoe;
Lateriyaka Anthony; Destiny Coleman; Morgan Crenshaw;
Front row: Rhonda Jewett; Marie Blackmon; Katelyn Auman;
Teresa Player; Rebecca Jackson, BSN
Currently, there is a shortage of certified nurse aides (CNAs) locally, regionally and statewide. In an effort to address a healthcare workforce need in Lancaster County, Springs Memorial Hospital and Mid-Carolina AHEC partnered to provide a local certified nursing assistant training program (CNATP). The first cohort of eight students was recruited from Springs Memorial Hospital and Lancaster County’s Adult Education program and graduated in August 2018.  All eight students passed the certification exam and are working as certified nursing assistants.  

The Commission on Higher Education (CHE) approved Mid-Carolina AHEC as a Certified Nurse Aide Training Program in March 2018, making Mid-Carolina AHEC the first regional AHEC center to receive this approval from CHE. The CNATP is a six-week program requiring didactic, skill lab experience and clinical experience. The Transitional Care Unit at Springs Memorial Hospital serves as the clinical training site for the students. Upon completion of the 100-hour program, students are eligible to take the exam for certification. After certification, employment opportunities for CNAs are available in numerous healthcare agencies: hospitals, long-term care, ambulatory care, assisted living, home care/hospice, physician offices, and private duty.

Mid-Carolina AHEC’s Rebecca Jackson, BSN, RN, and Instructor Jana Hough, RN, developed and led students through the program’s curriculum. With eight students in the inaugural class, the student to instructor ratio was four to one! Moving forward, with two instructors, the program can accept up to sixteen students per class.  

Based on need, Mid-Carolina AHEC plans to offer three programs per year. White Oak Manor, Inc. is a new partner and will serve as an additional clinical training site.  Springs Memorial Hospital and White Oak Manor, Inc.’s willingness to support the CNATP provides a multifaceted clinical experience for the students.  Nursing assistant students will have the opportunity to gain experience in both the acute care and long-term care settings, which uniquely prepares them to become members of the healthcare team.  Mid-Carolina AHEC plans to develop additional skills-based courses, such as phlebotomy and EKG monitoring, to further augment a CNA’s competence.

Lancaster County is extremely fortunate to have very supportive community partners that are committed to excellence in healthcare! If you are interested in participating in the CNATP, please go to Mid-Carolina AHEC’s website at midcarolinaahec.org or contact Rebecca Jackson, BSN, RN at (803) 286-4121.

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