Employment of nursing assistants will grow about 21 percent, or more than 310, 200 positions by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is faster than average for all occupations. To address this increased demand for trained nursing assistants, which is largely due to an aging baby boomer population, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region offers a Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) Program that prepares graduates to become Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs).
The Los Angeles Region NAT program is part of a nationwide Red Cross training network. During the 28-day program, students learn skills such as bathing, dressing, positioning, vital signs and Adult CPR/First Aid, which can be used in long term care facilities, hospitals or in home health. Weekday and weekend courses are offered throughout the year, which take between six and 14 weeks to complete. The NAT program meets all state and federal guidelines through lectures, videos, role-playing, laboratory practice and clinical instruction. The Red Cross has a course completion rate of 90%, and thousands of students have graduated from the program over the years. In addition to Life Skill classes, the program includes job fairs to assist students to obtain employment.
Through grant funding from Walmart, the Patron Saints Foundation and other generous organizations, limited scholarship opportunities are available for qualifying students. Each scholarship is different but provides financial aid to assist with the $1,500 cost of the program. Tuition includes fees for the first attempt of the state exams, finger printing, a background check, CPR/First Aid training, and all course materials. “This program provides a great opportunity for underemployed and unemployed individuals who are looking for a stable career opportunity that allows for future professional growth,” said Martha Gross, Red Cross NAT program manager.
“Our students build a strong foundation of valuable and marketable skills in a career field that has a high demand for workers.” Classes are held locally at the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region buildings in Canoga Park, Commerce, Glendale, Long Beach, Santa Monica, and Torrance. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/take-a-class/program-highlights/nurse-assistant-training.