INA, Ill. (Nov. 18, 2013) – Students interested in starting a nursing career, or a new career in general, can take advantage of Rend Lake College’s tuition-free Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) program to get going in the right direction.
Of the growing field, Kim Robert, Dean of the Allied Health Division, said opportunities are available both locally and across the nation as the need for CNAs and nurses is important to an increasing elderly population. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CNA and nursing aides field is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding more than 300,000 new jobs.
“The Certified Nurse Assistant program is a great place for students to start learning about the health care field. It’s a challenging program, but it can lead to a fulfilling, life-long career and advanced education,” Robert said. “There are a variety of classes to accommodate the working student or the full-time student, including several new sections offered at the Mt. Vernon MarketPlace to add more options for potential students. Our faculty members are outstanding in the work they do to prepare our students for their futures.”
Classes are available in four locations including the MarketPlace, starting in the spring semester. The program lasts from eight weeks to 16 weeks, depending on the format of the classes.
Four different CNA sections will be offered at the MarketPlace, each running from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on various days through the week between the following dates: Jan. 6 through March 12; Jan. 7 through March 21; March 17 through May 13; and March 27 through May 29. The MarketPlace sections are conducted in the eight-week format.
Night classes are also offered at the Ina campus, the Hamilton County Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in McLeansboro and the Pinckneyville campus. At the Ina campus, classes are scheduled for 4-9 p.m. for class and clinical from Jan. 14 through May 13. Similarly, at the Pinckneyville campus, classes will last from 5-9:15 p.m. from Jan. 14 through June 26.
McLeansboro evening classes will begin at 4 p.m. and last until 8:15 p.m. Clinical sessions are scheduled for five Saturdays, from 7 a.m.-4p.m.
In-district students pay only lab and supply fees for the classes. To enroll in the CNA program, students are required to take a reading placement test and submit to a background check as mandated by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
For those who want to develop their skills even farther, the CNA program also acts as a prerequisite for RLC’s Practical Nursing certificate program, which requires a year of training after three other prerequisite courses are completed (Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Rhetoric and Composition I).
The Associate Degree Nursing program, which prepares students to become registered nurses, is available for practical nurses who want to elevate their abilities. It requires a year of training after prerequisites are successfully completed.