James L. West Center Creates Tuition-Free Nursing Training
The James L. West Center has created a tuition-free nursing training program and more than 200 aspiring health care professionals have called about the education program.
The program offers zero-cost tuition to the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program through the James L. West Center for Dementia Care.
A large number of those callers applied for the orientation and interview classes that took place on in late November.
According to Jaime Cobb, Vice President of Education at the West Center, “People called to say, ‘Tell me more about this. I’m interested in this program.’ For the two information sessions, we had 40 people – our max – with a waiting list both days.”
The dramatic increase in dementia cases (currently over five million nationwide) – which reflects the rise in dementia cases in the Tarrant County area – led to this program. According to James L. West Center CEO Cheryl Harding, PhD, “We are expanding the classroom time as well as adding practical experience dedicated to dementia training and promising careers.”
Current CNA training approved by the State of Texas requires only one hour dedicated to dementia training. The West Center’s curriculum, which has been approved, will offer an additional 18 hours dedicated solely to treating those dealing with dementia.
The dementia-enhanced training will help these program graduates as they seek health care employment in long-term care and assisted living communities, as well as in hospitals and home health services.
The West Center joined with six other nonprofits to create this collaborative program, which is funded by the Sid Richardson Foundation.
The six partners are The Center for Transforming Lives, The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, Pathfinders of Tarrant County, Community Hospice of Texas and two senior living communities – Trinity Terrace in Fort Worth and Juliette Fowler in Dallas.
Harding adds, “It is important to us that these students have every chance at success in their new career. These services will help them be better employees and providers for their families.
This is the first program of its type in Texas and is a scalable model for other communities. At a time when Fort Worth is Age-Friendly via AARP and Dementia-Friendly, it only makes sense for the West Center to lead this effort.”
The ten students selected in the interview process will receive their initial training through the West Center’s on-site CNA program. The training program will begin in early January and last six weeks.
“We are starting with these ten students and we look forward to observing the program and growing it even further for the following year,” adds Harding. “The Sid Richardson Foundation is offering these career opportunities at no cost to these students. Through the foundation’s generosity, people’s futures will definitely be changed for the better!”