Idaho Brings Nursing Training to the Countryside

Idaho State University is using a new approach to help alleviate the serious nursing shortage in their more rural areas. To coin a phrase – the mountain is going to Mohammed.

A recent article in the Idaho State Journal described how ISU is developing a Continuing Education and Workforce Training Certified Nursing Assistant outreach program. This program brings the necessary training to become a CNA to where a lot of the students are, out in the country.

Many men and women are eager to retrain and work in this rewarding career, but they are a long drive from the urban centers where most of Idaho’s Certified Nursing Assistant programs are taught. The distance becomes even more of an issue in the winter when the weather is iffy.

And this is assuming that the nursing students are accepted into a program in the first place. Many otherwise eligible prospective students are turned away, in spite of the desperate need for them, because there simply aren’t enough seats in the established classrooms.

“The CNA Outreach Program’s goals are to attract those…who are compassionate, caring, and efficient multi-taskers. ‘We want people from the community with big hearts,’ says Cheryl DenHartog, CEWT’s health occupations coordinator. ‘Being a CNA is rewarding work, and it is a lot about perspective and being there at times like birth and death. We are trying to get those compassionate people into our CNA programs.’”

By hiring experienced registered nurses who are already an established part of these more bucolic areas, ISU is ensuring that they have CNA instructors who are familiar with the ins and outs of rural nursing. ISU is meeting the students where they are and where they want to stay and practice their new skills. It is a win-win for the nursing professionals and their patients who might otherwise not get the care they need.

If you would like to learn more about nursing continuing education, please visit CEU Market.


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