AC observes Accelerate TEXAS Week

Amarillo College is observing a week long initiative with the state of Texas designed to tackle a shortfall of certified nurse aides in the region (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) program at Amarillo College West Campus is receiving extra support. AC is observing Accelerate Texas Week to help showcase a program that aims to address a shortfall of Certified Nurse Aides in the Texas Panhandle.

“The students in the program get to improve their basic skills, their language skills, writing and reading skills along with math skills,” said Ronette Urton, assistant ESL director. “The students are also getting career training that they will need once they enter the workforce.”

Fifty-three students are enrolled in the CNA program this fall at AC. Once they complete the 12-week program and become certified, they can work in Amarillo or anywhere in the state that is hiring Certified Nurse Aides.

“They can go onto many different directions,” said Michele Rupe, Patient Care Programs Coordinator at AC. “Many students go on to become an LVN or RN. The CNA program at AC is geared for its long-term care so we have a patient care technician program which is for students who know they want to work in a hospital setting.”

The intent behind Accelerate Texas is to pair up with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and help adult learners in the state be better prepared to enter college and succeed once students enter the workforce.

“It’s a great model of instruction,” said Urton. “It helps the students and the teachers. They both get the training that they need while still building academic skills the students need.”

For students who complete the 12-week program, they also have the option of entering another career training program like Clinical Medical Assistant, Licensed Vocational Nurse or Associate Degree Nurse.

Accelerate Texas has helped place thousands of students into jobs by integrating basic skills and workforce training together.

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