Good Shepherd Launches In-House Program to Train Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

February 22, 2024

Two nurses in blue scrubs are talking to a person in an a person that is in a wheelchair.

To further develop its own long-term care workforce, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation is solving the challenge in-house with a new, state-licensed certified nursing assistant (CNA) training program.

The Good Shepherd Long-Term Care Nursing Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP) prepares trainees to sit for the state competency exam. Good Shepherd’s four-week program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and covers all required curriculum for certification.

Candidates accepted into the program will be hired as certified nursing assistant trainees at Good Shepherd prior to the program’s start and be paid while training. After completing training and gaining certification, trainees will be hired to open CNA positions at one of Good Shepherd’s two nursing homes: Good Shepherd Home – Raker Center (Allentown) or Good Shepherd Home – Bethlehem. Both locations are home to a combined 159 residents who live with severe disabilities, such as spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Good Shepherd to develop our long-term care workforce,” said Jeanne Dzurenko, MPH, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. “Our resident population relies on certified nursing assistants for the most basic needs, and we believe we can deliver the best possible training for the best possible care. Our nursing educators are excited to have this program within our network to engage and grow the CNA workforce.”

Classes will be held on Good Shepherd’s South Allentown campus at 850 S. 5th St. Clinical rotations will occur within Good Shepherd Home – Raker Center, 601 St. John St., in Allentown.

The program was designed by Good Shepherd team members Kristen LaDuca, MSN, RN, CNE, CMSRN, long-term care clinical educator and certified program instructor; Carol Domzalski, MSN, RN, CRRN, director of professional excellence; and Carrie Kane, MS, CCC-SLP, NHA, administrator of Good Shepherd Home – Raker Center.

“Health-care professionals often have visions and desires to rethink how we do things. Sometimes those visions don’t become reality, but when they do, it is because of the professionals who have the desire to change and then drive the process,” Dzurenko said. “Kristen, Carol and Carrie worked tirelessly to meet the rigorous standards. Not only did they meet the standards, feedback from the surveyors was outstanding.”

The inaugural training program takes place June 7 through July 8, and is accepting applicants currently. Interested parties can email [email protected] or call/text 484-280-1772.

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