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Florence Nurse Assistant Training Program Adding Evening Classes

Lady taking a Red Cross CPR class
"I always dreamed of becoming a nurse and working in a hospital and this is my first step"

The American Red Cross's Nurse's Assistant Program (NAT), which prepares students to play an important role in today’s health care, will begin offering evening classes in Florence next month. The evening session is in addition to the existing daytime classes. 

"We are thrilled to be able to offer our Florence Nurse Assistant Training program in the evenings,” said Martha Ray, NAT program manager for the American Red Cross in South Carolina. "The expansion enables even more students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to work alongside doctors and nurses. Since we launched the program last year, more than 65% of the graduates from the local NAT program are now working in healthcare and several others are in the hiring process." 

The first evening NAT session begins on March 14, 2016 and runs for 10 weeks. The classes are 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and there are two Saturday classes during the clinical week. 

The Red Cross NAT program offers classes which provide a hands-on environment including lectures, DVDs, role-playing and laboratory practice to teach students procedural skills such as vital signs, bathing, dressing and positioning. The classroom is equipped with hospital beds and medical equipment for students to use to practice. The Red Cross curriculum meets or exceeds state standards. Graduates are prepared to pass the requirements for state testing, as well as to be successfully employed in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare settings. 

"I achieved a goal I have always wanted to pursue," says Melanie Hardee, who began working at McLeod Hospital shortly after graduating from the NAT program. "I always dreamed of becoming a nurse and working in a hospital and this is my first step towards that goal.” 

During the program, students will also learn life skills such as interview skills, resume building, working in teams, and health care communication. The NAT course includes American Red Cross CPR certification and First Aid & AED 2-year certifications. Employment assistance is available for graduates through a job fair with local health care employers. 

“The NAT program is a great opportunity for anyone who may want a career in health care, including high school students who may be college bound or those who want to enter directly into the medical field.” explains Ray. “We are currently accepting applications for our summer classes and students may be eligible for scholarships if they register soon.  Students can register for future classes now in order to take advantage of our available scholarships.”  

The program costs $1,250 per student. Limited scholarships are available and NAT is a SNAP and Voc Rehab training provider. 


Space is limited for the program and a NAT orientation is required before applying to the program. Orientations are held Wednesdays at 11:00am or by appointment at the Florence Service Center, 1601 A West Lucas Street, Florence. For more information, contact Martha Ray at 843.799.4630 or