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Omaha, Nebraska - Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) has launched a CNA+ program that combines three healthcare courses.

The CNA+ course is a unique class that combines Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Medication Aide (MA) and Phlebotomist.

“This course was developed to shorten the time it takes to obtain three certificates,” said Amy Boyles, director of professional development. “This allows students to start a career in the medical field sooner.”

The 15-week course aims to save students time and money while giving them more career opportunities.

“Certified nursing assistants, medication aides and phlebotomists represent an essential part of the patient-care team. In assisting the medical staff, they not only provide physical care for patients but also emotional support, truly making a difference in the lives of patients and families,” said Lisa Taylor Jones, human resources advisor at the Methodist Health System. “These roles are vital in being the eyes and ears of the clinical staff, observing their patients carefully and making sure the healthcare team knows of any changes.”

The projected job growth over the next 10 years for certified nursing assistants is 5%, certified medication aides is 25% and phlebotomists is 10%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those employed in skilled nursing facilities, home health, and psychiatric units will see a more significant growth rate of 24%.  

“The numbers will only continue to grow exponentially as the baby boomer generation ages and every generation after that. Nurse assistants, medical assistants and phlebotomists will remain in high demand to provide patient care to those aging with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and strokes,” said Taylor Jones.

Certified nursing assistants work closely with patients providing essential care such as checking vital signs, making patient beds, helping patients with personal grooming and assisting medical staff with basic medical procedures. 

Medication aides work under the direction of a licensed healthcare professional administering medication to patients. 

Phlebotomists collect, transport, handle and process blood and other specimens for medical analysis.

The hybrid course allows students to complete online coursework on their schedule while meeting weekly due dates. 

“This course enables students to watch videos, view presentations, complete online assignments, take quizzes and tests weekly, and come into the college to learn the skills and receive feedback,” Boyles said.

Students at NMC benefit from a hands-on approach to learning, smaller class sizes and a faculty that cares about their success. 

The program costs $2,000, and includes:

  • All course content.
  • Required textbooks.
  • One set of scrubs.
  • Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals.
  • Clinical and on-site state testing for CNA.

“By combining CNA, MA, and phlebotomy into one course, the student is saving over $200,” Boyles said. “If you currently have your CNA certification, you can still apply. If accepted, you’ll receive a reduction in the $2,000 course fee and can start later in the course to take medication aide and phlebotomy content.”

State testing occurs during the program for CNA and MA after completing training and skills. Students that pass state testing can start working as a CNA and MA while completing the phlebotomy portion of class.

Upon completion of the course, students are eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification examination enabling them to be a certified Phlebotomy Technician, PBT (ASCP).

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