Nursing taught in high school

(Hillsboro Star Journal) For students interested in nursing in both Hillsboro and Marion, Butler has made getting the certified nursing aide course more convenient.

This fall the Marion campus of Butler County Community College is offering a zero-hour CNA class to be taught concurrently in Marion and Hillsboro at 7:30 a.m. every day. Classroom learning will originate from in the Interactive Digital Learning room at Marion High School. Clinical classes will be in Hillsboro. The course entails 104 hours of classroom learning and more than 30 hours of clinical training.

“They’re going to learn things in this class that they’re going to use for the rest of their life,” said teacher Jane King who was a director of nursing in county hospitals and nursing homes for 25 years.

Several students have enrolled for the class scheduled to begin in mid-September.

Many high schoolers have taken CNA courses through Butler in years past. They took the classes at night at Butler and then did the clinical portion of the class on the weekend. While clinical work will still have to be conducted on evenings or weekends, the classroom section can be a part of some students’ daily high school curriculum.

The value of a CNA certificate is that recipients can work in a variety of medical settings under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. In Marion County, CNAs most often work in nursing homes, King said.

There are other motivations as well.

Obtaining a certified nursing aide certificate might mean a student wants to be a nurse. That was why Marion High School graduate Kadecha Gueary took a CNA class through Butler this past year. She plans to pursue nursing at Hutchinson Community College.

King said that registered nurses and licensed practical nurses must also have a CNA certificate to work in many health care settings.

The CNA class can also be a fall back plan, a good thing on a person’s resume. That was Caroline Collett’s motivation.

Collett has set herself up for many different futures. Her dream job is to be an actress. She participated in theater camps this summer and theater is one of her majors at the University of Kansas this fall.

Her other major will be exercise science, to study to be a physical therapist. Having a CNA is a good first step in that profession.

In Collett’s first clinical class during her CNA course this past year she helped a nursing home resident into a shower.

“You may never know what you might experience,” Collett said. “I was kind of glad that was the first thing I did.”

The experience did not scare her. She loves her summer job at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro.

The CNA course usually costs $500 plus a fee for the state mandated test. However, a new state law may cover the cost of the class, said Amy Kjellin director of Butler of Marion.

“There’s a handful that want to take the class every year but can’t afford it,” Kjellin said. “It could help some people do it who otherwise couldn’t.”

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