CSCC honors its first group of CNA grads

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Staff Writer
Posted 8/31/17

Cleveland State Community College just honored its first group of Certified Nursing Assistant Program graduates.

The college in June began offering a nine-week, non-credit CNA course through …

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CSCC honors its first group of CNA grads

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Cleveland State Community College just honored its first group of Certified Nursing Assistant Program graduates.

The college in June began offering a nine-week, non-credit CNA course through its workforce development department, and five women were honored with a pinning ceremony Wednesday.

A CNA is an entry-level professional who assists nurses in clinical settings like hospitals and doctor’s offices. Their duties include taking vital signs and helping patients with meals and personal hygiene needs.

“These are the individuals who are there at your bedside,” said CNA instructor Vicky Shankles. “They are very helpful to the nurses … which in turn leads to better care for the patients.”

The program graduates completed 120 hours of training, which included 40 hours of supervised clinical experience at Signature Healthcare-Cleveland.

Shankles praised the students for their hard work and noted their efforts had been recognized by staff of the facility. All five showed up and demonstrated they “had a great passion for health care.”

The first graduates of Cleveland State’s CNA program were Amy Branscum, Wendy Holmes, Taylor Lopez, Cora Shope and Alissa Wilson-Ooten.

Some of the graduates said they were grateful to be part of an evening program which accommodated their busy schedules and allowed them to receive training for a new career. Some are even planning to continue their education by pursuing nursing degrees.

“It’s been a long nine weeks, but working as a unit inspired us,” said Lopez, who already has an associate’s degree but desires to change fields. “I’m excited to get out there.”

Another graduate, Branscum, stressed it “feels really good” to get started on her journey toward becoming a nurse. She plans to gain experience as a CNA while working as a home health aide and pursuing her nursing degree.

Though the CNA program is considered a non-credit professional program, college officials say it is one which can quickly lead to entry-level job opportunities in this area.

“This is an example of us meeting the workforce needs in our community,” said Dr. Bill Seymour, president of Cleveland State. “There is a big demand for CNAs.”

Seymour said college officials studied the area’s job climate while putting together CSCC’s current strategic plan. They found that 6 out of the top 10 jobs in the area were related to the medical field.

Now that they have completed their course, the five new program graduates can sit for their state nurse aide certification exams. All plan to test this Saturday.

For more information on the CNA program or to register for a future course, contact Continuing Education Coordinator Keri Eyler at 423-473-2270 or keyler@clevelandstatecc.edu.

christy.armstrong@clevelandbanner.com

Inset Quote:

“These are the individuals who are there at your bedside. They are very helpful to the nurses … which in turn leads to better care for the patients.” — Vicky Shankles

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