WANTED: Kind, Caring Nurse Assistant in Training Candidates

To take the first step toward a goal, it helps to have a little support. For participants in the LSS Nurse Assistant in Training (NAT) program support comes from LSS. NAT participants receive full tuition for the academy, hourly wages during training, and a position as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at an LSS community upon graduation.

“I have always wanted to get my CNA license,” says Diane, a CNA at Mason Pointe. “I worked with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and when we came to LSS they offered the CNA classes. I said, ‘Let’s go!'”

Grace also came to Mason Pointe when the Sisters of the Good Shepherd moved in. She jumped at the chance to become a CNA when LSS made the offer.

“I’m thankful LSS trusts me,” says Grace. “I’m very grateful.”

CNAs are central to the LSS Christian Mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest(based on John 10:10). These caring individuals work most closely with our residents and guests, often becoming like family to them.

Mickayla, a CNA at Laclede Groves, applied for a position at LSS after she took care of her sick grandmother and found she enjoyed working with older adults. When Mickayla got the call from LSS about her application, the recruiter asked her if she wanted to become a CNA through the NAT program.

“I want to become a nurse someday,” says Mickayla. “It’s really good to have LSS help out.”

Mickayla isn’t alone in her determination to keep growing in her newfound nursing career. Fellow Laclede Groves CNA Tae has her eyes set on nursing school too.

“LSS has good benefits with reimbursement,” adds Tae. “It’s awesome that they’ll help me to reach my goals.”

Tae previously worked in home health. She wanted to move forward in her healthcare career but she wasn’t able to work and go to school, until she found the NAT program with the promise of a job as a CNA at LSS.

CNA training is done through the CNA Training Academy, jointly supported by the Senior Care Network and LSS. The academy isn’t easy. It’s a fast-paced, intense course led by Rhonda McKenize, RN, who has been teaching CNAs since 2009 and in her current position at the CNA Training Academy since 2015. The class learns to work together and instructors prepare them for tests through quizzes and guidance in studying.

“We didn’t know sometimes if we were going to make it, we had to work as a team,” says Grace, who started each class with a group prayer.

With a balanced mix of classroom learning and on-hands training, CNAs come to an LSS community ready to work with residents and guests.

“My trainer helped me to do everything. The training was hands-on, that’s how I learn best,” says Tae. “I like the work.”

If you or someone you know would be a good fit for this fulfilling position, visit the job opportunities page of the LSS website (LSSLiving.org) to learn more about applying for the Nurse Assistant in Training program. While the CNA Academy is located in St. Louis, interested employees at LSS communities in mid-Missouri and central Illinois have opportunities to receive their certification through other programs. Visit the job opportunities page to learn more.