When University Hospitals noticed an unmet need for licensed practical nurses (LPN), they turned to Lorain County Community College to help develop a creative solution.
The result is a new UH/LCCC LPN Earn and Learn program that allows current UH employees working as patient care nursing assistants (PCNA) to earn the LPN credential. Students in the program will remain full-time employees at UH, earning full pay and benefits, while they complete LPN courses and training through LCCC. Upon successful completion of the program, students have the opportunity to be hired as LPNs at the hospital.
A group of 16 students will begin classes in August.
“I am so excited about this first cohort of the LPN Earn and Learn program in partnership with LCCC,” said Adrianne Shadd, manager of workforce development and outreach for University Hospitals Health System. “It’s been wonderful working with LCCC to create workforce development programming that addresses barriers to employment and skill building.”
For Ashlee Pollock, 32 from Elyria, the opportunity to join the UH/LCCC LPN Earn and Learn program came at the perfect time. In April, she earned her state tested nursing assistant (STNA) credential through LCCC’s Fast Track and the Elyria Skill City programs. She began work in July as a PCNA at UH and was accepted to the LPN Earn and Learn program.
“Everything with LCCC has been opportunity after opportunity,” Pollock said. “This program is amazing. I can still work and get paid while I complete the next step in my education.”
Earn and learn opportunities are built into many LCCC program pathways. Expanding that model to the LPN program makes sense, said Debbie Brown, LPN program coordinator.
“We work closely with UH as a clinical partner, as well as a place where our graduates are hired. Bridging that gap with this LPN earn and learn provides even more opportunities for students and for the hospital to develop and retain highly skilled nurses,” Brown said.
LCCC is the number one training location in Lorain County for first responders, including nurses. LCCC offers nursing programs in STNA, LPN, RN (traditional, advanced placement LPN-RN and advanced placement paramedic to RN options), and bachelor’s and master’s degree options through the LCCC University Partnership. Learn more at http://www.lorainccc.edu/nursing.