Sandrock Ridge to offer 1st-ever accelerated CNA class | CraigDailyPress.com

Sandrock Ridge to offer 1st-ever accelerated CNA class

Lauren Blair

Sandrock Ridge Certified Nursing Assistant Lindsey Stehle-Doehling assists Elsie Chase, 96. Chase and her roommate, Dona Nunnally, 73, kept a cheery disposition while Stehle-Doehling looked after their needs Tuesday afternoon.

— Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehabilitation will host its first-ever accelerated certified nursing assistant class set to begin Monday.

Staff at Sandrock Ridge were compelled to offer the class because of a shortage of CNAs in the area, with only a limited number of classes available through Colorado Northwestern Community College.

"The need in the area for CNAs is what made us do this," Sandrock Ridge Administrator Dollie Rose said. "There's a shortage nationwide."

Sandrock Ridge has contracted Avanza Training out of Colorado Springs to teach the course, and CNCC has offered to provide classroom space. There are 10 spots in the class, which was filled by Thursday.

Typical CNA classes run anywhere from four to eight weeks; however, the accelerated class will wrap up in only two weeks. Classes run eight hours per day the first week, and students will complete two, 10-hour days of clinical experience the following week at Casey's Pond Senior Living, a facility in Steamboat Springs. Additional classroom time, one-on-one adviser time and practice exams will fill out the rest of the week.

Upon completion of the class, students will be eligible to take the Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program certification exam, usually offered in Denver, to become a CNA.

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"Once they successfully complete the program, they can automatically start work," Rose said. "They can work up to 120 days before they take the exam."

One benefit for those who get their certification is that finding work nearly is guaranteed.

"You'll have a job forever," Rose said.

Sandrock Ridge has offered full scholarships to three of the students and half-scholarships and a discounted rate to the remaining seven in exchange for signing on to work at Sandrock Ridge after they complete the course.

"We always need CNAs, and just nursing staff, period," Rose said. "They can make a decision if long-term care is for them. This is a very difficult job, and it's not for everyone."

Sandrock Ridge had several more inquiries about the class after it already had been filled. Director of Nursing Logan Andrews said they definitely will offer the course again and hope to do so a few months from now if their budget allows.

Although the company operates two other facilities in Colorado, one in Denver and one in Las Animas, their reasons for offering the accelerated CNA course again would extend beyond recruiting CNAs for their own facilities.

"I think it'll be something that can help out the community," Andrews said. "The college only has limited space, and there's a need."

Sandrock Ridge also is seeking registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Call Logan Andrews at 970-826-4100 for more information.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.