Career Education Cooperative (CEC) Healthcare Partners continue conversations with State and Federal Agencies to advocate for 17 year old Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) Youth Apprentices to independently operate a patient lift.
At a time when the healthcare workforce is experiencing a crisis level of shortage, the Career Education Cooperative is providing the opportunity for local students from Kickapoo, Hillsboro, Riverdale, Ithaca, Richland Center, and Eagle Schools to start on a healthcare career path. Through the CEC program, 16 and 17 year old students are taking college-level nursing courses, completing their CNA, and working as a paid Youth Apprenticeship (for at least 450 hours) with local healthcare partners.
However well-trained and mature these students are as they enter the workforce to help address this healthcare workforce crisis, they are blocked from doing their complete job because of their age. A Department of Labor Ruling states students under 18 cannot independently operate a patient lift. The CEC healthcare providers are speaking up on how this ruling interferes with patient care, limits the hours high school seniors can work, and creates a barrier for getting seniors in High School started on a healthcare career track. CEC partners agree that training and employing high school students in the nursing field is a viable path in addressing the healthcare worker shortage crisis. CEC partners also agree that it will be best for health care providers, young nurses, and patients if the DOL ruling is changed.
On September 7, 2017, at Pine Valley Community Village, Joe Knilians, Director of WI Business Administration, brought Leslie Davies, U.S. Small Business Administration. They met with the following CEC healthcare partners to understand the issue better and help with the advocacy efforts to change the DOL ruling.
- Cory Nugent, Dycora, Nursing Home Administrator
- Sarah Buroker, Dycora, Director of Nursing
- Jessy John, Richland Renewable Energy Chemist and Career Education Cooperative Board Member
- William Bartlet, Schmitt Woodland Hills, Development Director
- Morgan Goodyear, CEC Student, Schmitt Woodland Hills, graduate of Richland Center High School
- Echo Bristol, Pine Valley Community Village, Nurse Manager
- Becky Dahl, Career Education Cooperative Co- President
Morgan Goodyear was a 2016-2017 Youth Apprenticeship student in the CEC program. She continues to work at Schmitt Woodland Hills while continuing her education at Southwest Technical College.
At the September 7th meeting, Echo Bristol demonstrated a patient lift to help Leslie Davies better understand the issue. Sarah Buroker shared with Leslie Davies, “as a Director of Nursing it is a noted value when nurses are able to actually work as a CNA prior to getting their nursing license.” The CEC provides this training and employment opportunity enhancing the experience of new nurses.