Healthcare apprenticeship program launches in Mesquite

Healthcare apprenticeship program launches in Mesquite
Photo by Georg Arthur Pflueger on Unsplash

MESQUITE—Partners developing a new apprenticeship program in Mesquite are hoping it will begin to address the healthcare worker shortage within Nevada, and especially in the state’s rural communities.

Officials with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation (OWINN) announced the launch of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Registered Apprenticeship program developed through a public and private partnership. CNA apprentices in the program will train at Highland Manor of Mesquite, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center.

The facility joined a handful of entities that were involved in creation of the program, including OWINN, Nevada System of Higher Education, College of Southern Nevada, the City of Mesquite, Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services and NV Hope.

CNAs are considered a critically important and high-demand occupation serving an essential role in patient care. In addition to assisting medical staff with physical care of patients, they provide emotional and spiritual support as well.

“The shortage of these crucial healthcare workers is acutely pervasive in Nevada’s rural areas with residents bearing the consequences,” OWINN wrote in a statement.

Gov. Sisolak agreed. “We must continue to invest and support workforce development and training programs like these that aid in the creation of a skilled talent pipeline in our state and further help address the needs of Nevada’s rural communities.” 

A number of workforce development and training programs have been launched in Nevada over the past year, in response, in part, to job losses and industry shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such programs in the healthcare industry are said to be effective in filling workforce gaps, many of which were exposed during the pandemic.

Students in the program will split their time between an online lecture class, a CNA lab at CSN and clinical classes at Highland Manor. The eight-week session—condensed from a 16-week session—will prepare graduates to perform basic nursing and restorative care for patients involving safety, personal hygiene, nutrition, mobility, basic mental health, protection of the patient and the patient’s rights, observing the patient and reporting to the nurse. 

A new cohort will begin in August 2021.