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Temple College offers free certified nursing assistant courses

Long-term care facilities need help amid shortage of CNAs
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 4:23 PM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Temple College is now offering free Certified Nursing Assistant classes to students as a way to increase the number of CNAs in the local workforce.

The pandemic worker shortage has caused long-term care facilities to see a dramatic shortage of CNAs, who are primarily responsible for helping patients with all their daily care activities.

“Helping the residents go to the restroom, dressing, bathing, toileting,” explained Carrie Pullin, the Executive Director at Arbour House Assisted Living in Waco.

“Every week it just seems like we have some come and some go. We have definitely gone through the season where from the beginning of covid up until here recently where you are just constantly hiring, constantly interviewing,” said Pullin.

The free CNA course is made possible by a donation that Temple College received from Aetna Better Health of Texas.

The free certification program goes far beyond covering the $1,500 tuition students would normally pay.

“They’re going to get their books and their supplies; they’re even going to get scrubs and it’s even going to pay for their certification exams which is sometimes a hard expense for students to come up with,” said Julie Escamilla, Director of Workforce Development at Temple College.

As Temple College works to graduate more CNAs into the workforce they say it will be up to the employers like Arbor House to do what they can to retain the workers with incentives such as pay raises.

“Before we were paying starting anywhere from $8 to $9.50 two years ago and now, we are starting anywhere from $10, $11, $12 more in that range.

Temple College has about 15 spots left in its free CNA program. Those interested can contact the college for more information and to apply.

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