Finding unique and creative ways to address pandemic-related staffing challenges is something VMRC’s human resources department and nursing leadership team have become quite adept at over these last two years.
“It has been a challenge not just for us, but across the nation, to hire enough persons with a CNA license to meet the direct care needs of communities like ours,” said Rebecca Kline, director of nursing for Complete Living Care.
But, with creativity and ingenuity, VMRC has maintained a sufficient level of Certified Nursing Aides by recruiting and training current staff members and external candidates.
An onsite Nurse Aide Training Program and a partnership with Harrisonburg High School Governor’s STEM academy Nurse Aide Program were both established in 2021. These programs provided an opportunity for participants to complete their training and gain real-world knowledge.
Most recently, nursing leadership worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish a Temporary Nurse Aide program. With a waiver issued through CMS in correlation with the Virginia Board of Nursing, VMRC is able to offer those with a desire to work in healthcare a fast-paced route into the workforce.
A cohort of five students was carefully selected and completed their onboarding and direct-care training before beginning hands-on learning. This route allows students to accept positions as Direct Care Techs while preparing them with the skills and knowledge needed to pass the state Certified Nurse Aide exam.
Student Patsy Fulk said, "I was looking to further my career as a CNA and heard amazing things about VMRC. When I learned about the temporary nurse aide program, I took a chance and applied! This program has taught me many things and I've enjoyed being able to bond with my coworkers and the residents of VMRC while doing the job I love."
We look forward to this group completing their licensing exam this month and moving forward in their nurse aide careers at VMRC.
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