In an effort to make Certified Nurse Assistant training more accessible and to fill a growing demand for qualified CNAs, Rend Lake College has opened a training center at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon.
A dramatic increase in the number of credit hours in nursing programs (CNA, Practical Nursing and Associate Degree Nursing) at RLC in recent years has made scheduling of the CNA programs difficult due to the number of students using the nursing lab on campus. Consequently, there has been a growing waiting list of students wanting to take the CNA training.
The new center at the MarketPlace will help alleviate this situation. It features two classrooms in addition to a nursing lab. St. Mary’s / Good Samaritan Inc. donated six beds, worth thousands of dollars each, and Man-Tra-Con Corp. donated overbed and bed-side tables, as well as a Gerichair and Hoyer lift.
Man-Tra-Con, which partners with local employers to create a quality workforce, also has an office at the MarketPlace. The hope is that some people who come to Man-Tra-Con for job search assistance will make their way to the CNA Center.
Certified nursing assistants, also known as nurses aides, orderlies, patient care technicians, and home health aides, work under the supervision of a nurse and provide assistance to patients with daily living tasks.
Working closely with patients, CNAs are responsible for basic care services such as grooming and feeding patients, assisting nurses with medical equipment and checking patient vital signs. CNAs give patients important social and emotional support and also provide vital information on patient conditions to nurses.
A great incentive for students to enroll in the CNA class is the fact that it is tuition-free for anyone in the Rend Lake College district. Students simply need to pay for their textbooks and uniforms, and there are various forms of financial aid available which may help curtail some of those costs.
Day and evening programs are available. CNA classes still will be available at the Ina campus, and the college’s CNA offerings in other communities, including dual-credit high school classes, also still will be available.
CNA training is a first step for students to determine if they are interested in the nursing field. Students who complete Rend Lake College’s CNA class, which is a one-semester, seven-credit-hour course, can bypass Basic Nursing Skills I if they decide to move up to the Practical Nursing program.
A Practical Nursing certificate then can lead to RLC’s Associate Degree Nursing program, which trains students to become registered nurses. A partnership with McKendree College now allows even further training, offering a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from McKendree by taking classes at RLC.