College trying to fill CNA classes as nursing facilities need more nurses aides

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 4:41 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:50 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Heartland nursing care facilities are experiencing a shortage in Certified Nursing Assistant.

The Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau is looking to fill CNA classes with folks looking to start a career in health care.

Abbie Greenwood is the health occupations instructor at the Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau.

She said nursing facilities are constantly contacting her, looking for nurses aides.

“Asking where they are in the program, when I anticipate them finishing up, because they are very eager to get CNAs,” she said.

The high school certification class is free, and always full, but they’re finding it hard to get adult students to register for the program.

“We’re basically seeing zero enrollment.”

CTC Director Libby Guilliams said there are plenty of jobs available for graduates; and due to the COVID-19 waiver that’s currently in place, students are now on the fast track to graduation.

“Our students were finished pretty early, our high school students. Every single one of them got internships or jobs before they were even out of high school,” Guilliams said.

Director Melody Harpur at the Lutheran Home said they are always looking for new qualified hires.

“We’re just trying to be flexible on our pay and scheduling,” she said. “Trying to be more competitive with our wages.”

And with job availability at an all time high, becoming a certified nursing assistant could be one of the most rewarding health care careers.

“There’s always going to be people who need a nursing home. And that is going to be their permanent home for their last days. And we can’t close down, we are a 24-hour operation.”

Training to become a CNA can take from 6 to 12 weeks. The price of a typical program is around $1,000.

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