On August 23, 2017, the final fourteen grant funded students successfully completed Moraine Park Technical College’s Nursing Assistant (CNA) boot camp–a rigorous three-week, 120 hour, 3 credit, learning experience. Students spent their clinical hours training at Samaritan Health Center.
Pictured from this group above are (front row left to right): Dorothy Kleinke – Nursing Assistant Instructor, Caitlin Kemmett, Katie Gnodtke, Melanie Buchholz, Brooke Ward, Amanda Fritz, Veronica Anderson, Britani Tharman, and Marylou Mercado – Dean of Nursing. (back row left to right): Joseph Porth, Michaela Millard, Kylee Hughes, Shawnie Baerber, Courtney Courtemanche, Gabrielle Rose, Amy VanRuden, and Karrie Bruegman-May – Nursing Instructor.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) ACT for Healthcare Grant program, the CNA boot camps condense a typical 8- or 16-week, three-credit Nursing Assistant course into an accelerated format. Training provides theory, laboratory experience and clinical learning that teaches students the skills to perform duties such as taking vital signs, bathing, dressing, feeding, making beds, and other direct resident care. The grant-funded CNA boot camps began in the summer of 2015 and continued through this final training cohort in August, 2017. Over 200 students completed the camps over the three-year grant, qualifying them to take the Pearson Vue Wisconsin Nurse Aide Certification Exam.
CNA training is required for students interested in pursuing many healthcare related fields. Some CNAs go straight into the workforce. Others continue their studies toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Many students may work as a CNA for great experience and a paycheck while continuing their studies.
All 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges, including Moraine Park, are three-year grant recipients, with each institution developing its own supplemental healthcare programs under the Act for Healthcare consortium project. Dislocated workers and veterans receive priority placement for grant funding. Moraine Park already offers traditional CNA classes at all three campuses throughout the academic year.
CNA training is in high demand, with most classes filled to capacity. Boot camp students complete the theory portion of the course online on their own time and master hands-on skills for 120 hours of training in the classroom and clinical settings. A grade of C or better and 100 percent attendance are required for successful completion. Boot camp sizes are capped at 10 students per instructor, with some cohorts stacked with 20 students and two instructors. CNA employees are in extremely high demand with over 1,000 positions currently listed across the state.