What started as an initial fundraiser for the purchase of a disabled accessible van has evolved into a scholarship fund for certified nursing assistants who wish to become licensed practical nurses.
Trinity Village Retirement Community President Mac Bellingrath announced on Wednesday that qualified licensed practical nurses at Pine Bluff Institution can apply for a full scholarship of approximately $ 4,800 to Southeast Arkansas College for scholarship. Licensed Practical Nurse certificates. The prize will cover tuition, books, fees and other incidental costs.
The application period will begin Friday and end on October 31, with a recipient to be named in November.
“We hope this is something our NACs are very interested in, and this might just be the beginning,” Bellingrath said, addressing a small crowd of staff and officials at Southeast Arkansas College. “We hope you will be interested in an opportunity to increase your accreditation and enjoy the economic benefits that come with LPN certification. We hope you will be as excited about it, as excited as we are about providing. this opportunity. “
The recipient will begin the three-semester, 56 credit hour program that will cover the spring, summer and fall terms of 2022. Bellingrath said the scholarship effort is a two-year pilot program, with another prize that will be awarded for courses in 2023.
In a press release, Bellingrath explained that a goal of raising $ 10,000 for the van had been exceeded by $ 17,000, and Trinity Village leaders “slowly” figured out how to use the extra funds during the coronavirus pandemic. .
“This was suitable as a way to help raise the salary potential of a CNA to that of a professional employee,” said Bellingrath. “This allowed us to develop and retain more licensed practical nurses, which is a challenge for every nursing home.”
Southeast Arkansas College president Steven Bloomberg said the scholarship will help a worker in Trinity Village help in an area of health care where more licensed practical nurses are needed.
“Our healthcare workers were taxed before the pandemic,” Bloomberg said. “Now more than ever we need to make sure we understand how the rest of us respect them and how many of these opportunities are going to give someone who is CNA the opportunity to be an LPN. It also opens a lot of doors. . “
Each CNA will have already earned 10 credit hours for LPN certification, Bellingrath said. To be eligible, the selected NAC must have worked full time at Trinity Village for at least one year and completed 1,600 hours of work. The CNA must have an attendance record of 90% or more, be fully vaccinated against covid-19, and agree to stay at the center for three years from the award of the scholarship.
Bellingrath credited Bloomberg with leading him to Barbara Dunn, the college’s director of development, and Joyce Scott, the college’s director of nursing and paramedics, to develop the scholarship program.
“These three people have done a master job in making this happen quickly and efficiently. Thank you all three for making this possible,” commented Bellingrath.