“Always Love your Work!”

Moraine Park CNA bootcamp grads

Recently, nineteen more 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):  Heddy Pahnke – Administrative Assistant, Dorothy Kleinke – Nursing Assistant Instructor, Emily Wilhelms, Brittany Williams, Cyril Puazo, Kathleen Jordan, Quinn Silloway, Jodie Dolinar – Nursing Assistant Instructor,  Hailey Rushing, Calli Malter.  (back row left to right):  MPTC Board Chair Mike Miller, Lyn Backhaus – Instructional Aide, Megan Shodeen, Carrie Ploetz, Chelsea Herriges, Jonathan Huey, Eli Olson, Brandon Sipiorski, Ben Grosskreuz, Jessica Hudson, Mariah Koenigs, McKenzie Hoepfner, Kylie Engstrom, Laura Brux, Brenda Raad – Associate Dean, Bonnie Baerwald – MPTC President, Anne Lemke – Grant Manager.

We asked one of our graduates Kathleen Jordan, to share her exciting story!  “I am 31 years of age. I’m a mom and wife. I graduated in a bachelor of science of Nursing in the Philippines back in 2006. My first job abroad was as an Au pair in Denmark, and my 2nd job was as a private caregiver in Rome, Italy.  I’ve always wanted to have a career in health care. I’m good with people, and I enjoy helping others. so I decided to pursue it in the U.S. by taking the CNA program at MPTC.”

“I want to become a CNA because I  love to help people & am empathetic towards their needs. I love being around other caring individuals that want to help our fellow humans.  I was worried if I would make it until the end of the program.  I felt nervous and excited because I had American classmates for the first time! The CNA program has made me even more compassionate towards the elderly. I realized it gives me great happiness to be able to give relief to those in real need.”

“I met a resident at the Samaritan who was from my same country and we speak the same dialect! He is a very talented person – he can play piano and guitar and sometimes he sings! He shared his story with us.  If he was in a bad mood, I used our dialect to go to him and try to ask him what makes him mad? He started to smile and responded to me and telling me what was wrong. It made him feel more comfortable to speak our own dialect together. He is a very nice person. ”

“I really enjoyed the class. I  enjoyed meeting the variety of people in my class and was able to learn more about taking care of others, especially the elderly. My next steps are to focus on how to pass my state exam as CNA!  I’m planning on applying to Columbia St. Mary in Mequon after I pass my exam.  If you don’t see yourself as a long-term CNA in the future the knowledge from the coursework and clinical will help you to achieve your goals. Remember!  Always respect others, and always love your work.”

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 continue through the final training cohort in August, 2017. Approximately 200 students are expected to complete 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.









Written by Anne Lemke
Student Community Impact Coordinator