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Seneca Hospital, in coordination with Feather River College, graduates its first class of certified nursing assistants Dec. 12. Back from left: instructor Karen Stratton, RN, and Katelyn Todd. Front from left: Jessie Guthrie, Mary Kendall, Amanda Sterling, Laura Semrau, Sheryl Richard and Summer Rivera. Photo by M. Kate West
The graduation of seven certified nursing assistants made Wednesday, Dec. 12, a festive day on the campus of the Seneca Healthcare District.
The day marked the end of twice-weekly training over a four-month period and an employment opportunity for each of the graduates.
“This was a class that was coordinated with Feather River College. What a benefit to us in taking care of the community,” said Registered Nurse Pam Valencia, director of staff development.
Valencia considered the graduation a win-win on several fronts.
“We have well-trained staff coming directly from our regional communities and this is not only a bonus for the hospital but our local economy as well.
“The income is good but, most importantly, the opportunity for upward mobility is good. These CNAs can go on to get a nursing degree,” she said.
Looking into the future the plan is to offer the course every other year. The next class will be held in 2014.
“There are also some good high school models out there we are looking at. It would be great if we had students that could graduate and be ready to enter the workforce,” she added.
Director Judy Mahan coordinated the course on behalf of FRC.
RN Karen Stratton, an FRC employee, was the course instructor.
At the completion of the ceremony Seneca presented each graduate with an employment application.
“We want to hire them as a group and begin orientation. We plan to have the CNAs work in all departments to include the hospital, the clinic and the long-term care facility,” Valencia said.
After passing their finals Dec. 12 the graduates have one final hurdle: passing their state board examination the first week of January 2013.
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