Northern Essex Community College Offers CNA Refresher Course and Local Exam Site

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Northern Essex Community College, seeking to address the growing job needs of the healthcare industry, is presenting two new certified nurse assistant offerings.

Students preparing to take the Massachusetts CNA exam may now take a refresher course at Northern Essex and, when ready, take the skills-based state exam on the college’s Lawrence Campus.

“CNAs are in high demand in our community, and ensuring we are doing our part in educating, supporting and contributing to the growth of our CNA community is a top priority,” says Program Coordinator Heather Waniga.

The Certified Nurse Assistant program at Northern Essex is a four-week accelerated training. It prepares students to work in a variety of healthcare settings, including long-term care, acute care and rehabilitation facilities and home care settings. Students may begin working as nurse assistants immediately after completing their training. Many employers, however, require state certification as a term of employment. This month, the CNA laboratory in the Dimitry Building became a certified testing site, increasing accessibility for Northern Essex students by giving them more options on when and how to take the exam.

“Students had limited options for local test sites, and they had difficulty accessing dates and times that worked for them,” says Dr. Suzzette Turnbull, program manager for Community Education. “By opening this new site, we can bring them full circle in their career journey.” The goal of each testing session is to accommodate 14 students. Northern Essex students get priority for scheduling in each session with the remaining seats are open to students from other programs.

The CNA program, refresher course and testing are all free to students thanks to grant and state money. Testing takes place twice a month at the new site in Lawrence, with refresher courses scheduled every other month. Students who complete the program and pass the Massachusetts CNA exam may also earn six credits applicable toward the college’s Healthcare Technician Certificate Program.

Enrollment is open for the four-week CNA training program in March, April, May and June.

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