Judy Meister, Fort Scott Community College occupational recruiter, knows all about why FSCC needed another Certified Nurse Aid course. But her thoughts weren’t necessarily involved with Bourbon County — they’re with Crawford County.

Judy Meister, Fort Scott Community College occupational recruiter, knows all about why FSCC needed another Certified Nurse Aid course. But her thoughts weren’t necessarily involved with Bourbon County — they’re with Crawford County.
For the first time, FSCC is offering a Certified Nurse Aid course at the Pittsburg campus. A course that Meister said is in high demand.
“There are employment issues all over the country,” Meister said. “Pittsburg is feeling it as well. I noticed in the newspaper that there are always ads for people wanting to hire CNAs. There is a shortage of CNA nurses. There is an area  shortage of professionals in the health care field. What a great idea it would be to offer the class in Pittsburg in a field that desperately needed professionals.”
The course will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday from Sept. 14 to Nov. 3. The class is a five credit-hour class held at Medicalodge South, 2520 S. Rouse in Pittsburg.
This isn’t the first time the course has been offered, but it is the first time the course has been offered by FSCC in Pittsburg.
Meister said everyone involved with the class came together to make the course possible.
“It has taken us six to eight months to get it ready,” Meister said. “We have had to find a teacher. We’ve had to find a cooperating nursing home to let us use their space. We’ve had to work with the state.”
A Certified Nurse Aid can provide direct patient care, both medical and nonmedical. Among other tasks, CNAs can take vital signs, deliver basic care (washing, feeding, dressing and walking), answer call lights, monitor and report changes, collect testing samples, help with patient hygiene and provide a bed service. CNAs can be hired in hospitals, outpatient facilities, long-term care facilities, clinics, and in-home care.
“That’s why there are so many CNA jobs. In this county alone, there are probably 10 nursing homes and assisted living facilities, maybe more,” Meister said. “There is a projected growth of needed nurses by 31.2 percent by 2010 for registered nurses. We’ll need 6,890 more registered nurses by 2010 to meet the workforce. That’s just the Kansas Department of Labor. That doesn’t count those we need to replace retiring nurses. The state needs 4,460 people to replace the retirements. We’re in trouble.”
For more information on the course, call 231-3690 or Judy Meister at 224-0088.

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.