On Dec. 22, Givens Communities celebrated successful completion of the Fall 2023 Nurse Aide Training Program class with pomp and circumstance, excitement, and plenty of pride.
With family and friends, residents, and future colleagues in attendance, a ceremony was held at the new Brookside Commons Assembly Room at Givens Highland Farms in Black Mountain. Five graduates received certificates, flowers and gifts to honor their completion of the 10-week training program. Next steps will be for them to take the N.C Nurse Aide I exam to become Certified Nurse Aides.
The “earn while you learn” program was designed to support staffing for Givens Communities and create a direct pathway from training to career for current and new team members. Trainees earn a full-time salary while studying the North Carolina Nurse Aide I curriculum, with all tuition, books, supplies, and exam fees covered. In return, they work for one year as a CNA, caring for residents at one of the Givens Communities clinical sites.
When not in class, trainees work as resident assistants, assisting with non-patient care tasks in one of the Givens Communities clinical settings. This component of the training program allows students to become familiar with day-to-day workings of healthcare settings. They work on communication skills and develop relationships with team members and residents, easing their transition to clinical practice.
For program completion, students must pass a written exam, practical skills demonstrations, and complete a group project to show in-depth knowledge on specific topics. The class chose “Care Approaches for Dementia Care” and “Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in the Elderly.” They created humorous skits to demonstrate the difference between ineffective and proper procedures. The trainees also created accompanying informational handouts and posters on the topic.
“We’ve all heard the saying ‘teamwork makes the dream work’,” said Linda Stanton, RN, Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor, in her opening remarks. “I’m going to turn that saying on its head and say ‘it’s dreamwork that makes the teamwork!’ Imagining what the future can hold is somewhat of a theme at Givens Communities. Two years ago, this program didn’t exist.
“The administrative team at Givens had the dream to make this program happen and look at us now. The Nurse Aide Training Program is a proven success, having graduated 14 new Nurse Aides during three class in 2023.
“Givens Communities is a precious gem in the current healthcare environment, an organization that walks-the-talk of caring for the staff who care for our residents,” continued Stanton. “In addition to the NA Training Program, the organization supports team members with other career growth opportunities such as scholarships, tuition reimbursement, and career coaching.” “Also, plans are in the works for an in-house Medication Aide Training Program which will further support staffing in our Health Care Centers.”
Maggie Ragan, RN, Givens Highland Farms Staff Development Coordinator and NA Program Assistant Instructor, told the graduates that “you are the hardest working folks to have applied for this program. You have been a blessing to our residents and clinical staff as Resident Assistants and as trainees. You jumped right in, doing the best that you could,” she said. “Thank you for your dedication. It shows.”
Elizabeth Hutchins, RN Supervisor and Assistant Instructor also had a message for the graduates. “The end of your class is just the beginning of a career that can lead you on many paths,” she said. “So go out there and make your path, make a difference.”
To inquire about eligibility for the Spring 2024 class, contact Kayla Welch, the HR Lead Talent Acquisition Specialist, at [email protected]