Great Falls College's Lifelong Learning offering monthly CNA courses
Program coordinator Lori Henderson, instructor Kathy Megel, instructor Mary Miller, students Meghan Hiskey, Charlie Rainingbird, Juscia Edgar and Rachel Bowman were part of the inaugural CNA course offered by Great Falls College MSU's Lifelong Learning Ce
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Great Falls College MSU's Lifelong Learning Center is taking applications now for its first-ever certified nursing assistant program, which aims to address a shortage of CNAs in the community.
Tammie Hickey, director of Lifelong Learning, said the four-week courses will run each month.
"We are so excited to offer these classes, which are necessary to fill critical workforce needs for our healthcare partners," Hickey said.
Hickey, who took over Lifelong Learning late last year, immediately researched starting CNA courses when she accepted her new role. Restrictions brought on by Covid meant Benefis Spectrum had to halt its CNA program since placing students for clinicals was not an option during the pandemic.
"We have the beautiful simulated hospital on campus that will allow the clinical hour requirement of the CNA program to be met until work placement restrictions can be lifted," Hickey said.
In addition to her role with the Lifelong Learning Center, Hickey is the longtime coordinator of Great Falls Public Schools' Career and College Readiness Center, which is hosted on Great Falls College's campus. Through this program, Hickey had strong ties with the Benefis Spectrum CNA program and was able to capitalize on that knowledge to build the course for Lifelong Learning.
"We are so thrilled to help develop quality CNAs for our community and look forward to collaborating with businesses to transition our CNA students into their facilities," Hickey said.
Hickey and Charla Merja, Great Falls College's director of the Testing Center, also successfully worked to have the Great Falls College Testing Center named a regional testing site for certified nursing and medication aide testing.
With Great Falls being centrally located, this will be convenient for many individuals, businesses and organizations from the surrounding areas.
CNA classes will be Monday and Tuesday evenings from 4 to 8:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The course is $850, which includes books, quality instructors, testing fees, CPR certification and job placement assistance.
You can register on the Lifelong Learning Center's website, http://gfcmsu.edu/lifelonglearning/index.html
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