CNA Academy provides rewarding careers; New classes forming

*Feature Photo: Dr. Kristen Benson of FC BOCES and CNA Academy graduate Haley Schooner.* (Riverton, Wyo.) - The latest Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Academy hosted by Fremont County BOCES was so successful that another one is the works. "We had 10 graduates who completed our last academy and seven of them passed their certification on the first try. The remaining three will be tested in June," said Dr.Kristen Benson, Career and Technical Director. "That's huge." The Academy ran during the month of January and it wasn't just classwork. Each student received a stipend; $50 following a four-hour orientation, $150 following 77 hours of instruction and $140 upon successful completion of skills and written tests. The materials for the class, totaling about $1,000, are also provided to the students without cost. "It makes it affordable for them to do the class," Benson said. With the downturn in the local economy, displaced workers or those struggling financially could benefit from this program," Benson said. "For anyone interested in health care this is a good starting point." "The world needs career CNA's, and it's also great for those who want to continue on to be an RN," Benson said. "But health care facilities need career CNAs, too." Career options include serving in a physician's office, in someone's home, in a hospital, or in assisted living or long-term care facilities. One of the students from the most recent class, Haley Schooner, wants to be a career CNA. Right after graduation, she was hired at the Homestead Assisted Living Center and she said she loves it there, working the night shift. "It's too bad that most facilities want CNA's with experience, but how do you get the experience?" Schooner asked rhetorically. "I was lucky and grateful I was given this opportunity." Schooner said she is anxious to share her on the job experiences for the next two upcoming classes as a mentor. "I would like to do that and pass along what I've learned on the job to others," she said. Other CNA grads will also serve as mentors in the next two classes. Once a student is certified, they can be hired anywhere in the state of Wyoming as CNAs, " Benson noted. Students in the first academy attended from as far away as Crowheart and Fort Washakie The first CNA Academy was funded by a nearly $19,000 sub-award from the University of Wyoming/FC BOCES through the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. The second grant, if obtained, will come from the University of Wyoming Retirement Research Foundation. Learn more here . #sponsored #county10 #news