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New program trains nursing assistants for free

New program trains nursing assistants for free (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A new program is helping people who want careers in the field of nursing accomplish their goals.

People are getting training at no cost from one of the best health care systems around. Students in the Mercy Neighborhood Jobs Program get hands on experience. They're learning to become STNAs, or nursing assistants.

Marguerite Winn has wanted a career in health care for herself and her family, "I've always wanted to do something where I felt that I was making a difference," she said.

Marguerite watches intently in class. Mercy Health is offering free training and partnering with Cincinnati State and the Cincinnati-Hamilton Community Action Agency in Bond Hill. The classes are at different times of the day to fit into busy schedules. The goal is to eventually fill the shortage of nurses in the health care field.

"Once they become our employees, to shepherd them through the career path of nursing. So once they become STNAS we will help them to become medical assistants and from there we will help them to become registered nurses," said Julia Abell with Mercy Health.

The program is one of several efforts by Mercy to help the community where it's headquartered. They've set up an outdoor gym and bring in mammography trucks for women. There's also a farmer’s market for fresh produce.

Mira Smith with the Community Action Agency said, "When we find a partner that has a similar mission which is to build our community and build the people in the community and to empower them to realize their dreams of self-sufficiency and to thrive then it just seems like a natural fit all together."

Many of the students are from Bond Hill, but Mercy is recruiting all over. Eventually, Marguerite wants to be an occupational therapist and her son and daughter are proud.

"They actually are like, ‘Mommy are you going to school today?’ And I'm like, ‘Yes, Mommy's going to school,’ and they're excited for me, so it makes me want to finish. It makes me want to get to the finish line."

The program is just starting, but the hope is to help students with child care and transportation issues if they need it. Mercy ultimately plans to hold classes four times a year. They can accommodate up to 32 students in each class.

After the students complete the program, there's a plan to help them with bios and head shots. The goal is to market them to Mercy's hiring managers.

For more information about the program contact: Katrina Bruce at kbruce@mercy.com

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