The St. Cloud V.A. is addressing a shortage of nurses by offering a nursing assistant training course starting at the end of March.  Mandi Loxterkamp, Lance Westerlund and Barry Venable from the St. Cloud V.A. joined me on WJON for our monthly Voices for Veterans program.

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Loxterkamp indicates they are one of the first in the V.A. system to implement this course.  She says they are taking the Minnesota Department of Health long term care nursing assistant curriculum and will utilize that curriculum to train interested individuals on their St. Cloud campus.  Loxterkamp says the individuals going through this program will be receiving hourly wages.  She says the program will take approximately 6 weeks and will require students to work 2 to 3 days a week. Loxterkamp indicates the starting hourly pay for people who complete this program is approximately $18 an hour.

The nursing industry is suffering from a shortage of available nurses.  Loxterkamp hopes this course will help with this shortage.  She says they can take up to 10 students per course.  Lance Westerlund will be teaching the course.  He says not only will they be going through the curriculum with the students but they will be there to mentor these individuals.

Barry Venable explains those that complete the course have the opportunity to complete the state's certification exam.  If they are successful in passing this exam the V.A. will reimburse them.  Venable says at that point they are qualified to apply for a position with the St. Cloud V.A. He explains they do offer sign on bonuses.

If you'd like to learn more about this course listen to my conversation with Barry Venable, Mandi Loxterkamp and Lance Westerlund. it is available below.  More information at USA jobs and look for information on the St. Cloud V.A. facebook page.



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