Heritage Seeks ‘Talent From Within’ To Bolster Staff

Heritage Village P-J file photo

GERRY — Heritage Ministries has focused inward when it comes to bolstering its nursing staff. And the approach appears to be working, said Danielle Bozich, Heritage vice president of human resources.

A program focusing on nurse aide training or certified nursing assistants began last year. All classes have been full, which Bozich said is an indicator that there is interest in the field.

“There’s a lot of interest in the program,” she said. “It is a difficult program, but any (certified nursing assistant) program is difficult. You’re really in the classroom for five days a week, eight hours a day learning everything that you need to learn about taking care of someone. CNAs take care of every task of daily living. When you think bout what a CNA does, they help with everything from the time that you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed. That’s a lot to learn in a six-to-eight-week program, so it’s intense, but we have received a lot of great feedback on interest in the program.”

Bozich said the program started before COVID-19 caused a nursing shortage. She said the program aims to “provide an opportunity for people.”

“We want to grow talent from within,” she said. “We’re doing the program right on site so everyone gets paid for the time that they spend in class. We pay for all of the books, the testing and everything and then they move into a CNA position from there, which is really exciting. It really gives people an opportunity to decide if this first step in nursing is for them because we’re giving them this opportunity to start at the ground level with nursing and decide if they want to move on to be an LPN or an RN.”

There isn’t really a typical day when it comes to the training program, Bozich added.

“Every day is a little bit different,” she said. “The CNA program is comprised of a classroom portion, a clinical portion and then testing. They learn in a classroom setting with books, quizzes and all of that for a pretty large percentage. Then, they have to actually go into a facility and do everything hands-on. Their exam at the end is a mix of both, so they have to be able to do a written exam and they have to be able to show that they have the skills necessary. It’s a little bit of everything.”


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