Northern Marianas College continues its commitment to enhancing healthcare workforce capacity in the CNMI, with 20 students set to earn their certificate of completion from the College's nursing assistant training program. The program has graduated 78 other students in prior cohorts.
The College's certificate training has been equipping students to deliver essential nursing care to elderly, ill, and disabled individuals in various healthcare settings, including long-term care, hospitals, clinics, and home health. Upon completion, students become eligible to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Competency Examination with the NMI Board of Nursing, leading to certification as a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
Under the ten week program, students spend four weeks of lectures with NMC nursing instructors, three weeks in the skills lab, and three weeks in clinicals at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC). The students in the ongoing cohort will graduate from the training on August 12, 2023.
One student, Amea Reyes, said that she is very excited about the opportunities that the nursing assistant training is providing her for her career in nursing.
“I thought that this would be a great opportunity to build a foundation in the environment and gain experience along the way”, she said. “I wanted to work as a CNA while also pursuing my degree in nursing so that while I’m going to school I can be bringing in income and simultaneously learning through observation of the other staff.”
Another student, Jessie Boyer, said that he wanted to become a licensed CNA in preparation for the nursing program.
“As a student currently enrolled in NMC, it was an opportunity for me to get a head start in nursing before heading into the actual program,” Boyer said. “It was also a way for me to see if nursing in general was the right path for me.”
NMC Nursing Department Chair Rosa T. Aldan said that the College is deeply committed to addressing the healthcare needs of the CNMI and hopes to offer more allied health certificate trainings in the near future.
"Our nursing assistant training empowers aspiring nursing assistants with comprehensive training, instilling in them the skills and compassion needed to make a significant difference in the lives of patients and their families,” Aldan said. “We are confident that they will play a vital role in enhancing healthcare services in the CNMI after this training. We take great pride in nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals who will serve our islands with unwavering dedication and integrity."
Carlos Santos, the Chief of Human Resources at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, said that the collaboration between NMC and CHCC is an opportunity for the hospital and the CNMI to grow their grassroots nursing workforce capacity.
“CHCC is committed to supporting the nursing students who want to work in the CNMI in getting the certification, education, and licensing support from NMC and the hospital and supporting their goals as professionals,” Santos said. “NMC is the key partner in providing this feeder program for our nursing needs and then also building workforce capacity so our organization and others do not need to only rely on bringing in outside labor to fill our needs, but develop our own workforce to meet this need. Our continued partnership with the college is the key to success for our organization and it is also such a pleasure to see the new nursing cohorts on campus working alongside everyone and contributing to the success of CHCC.”
The 20 participants of NMC’s Nursing Assistant program will receive their certificates this Saturday, August 12, 2023.