MoHealthWINs Provided Career Pathways for Southeast Missouri
MoHealthWINs allowed Three Rivers College to offer students a variety of entry- and exit-points in the nursing career pathway. Classes were delivered in traditional format as well as through online and hybrid models. Students learned employable skills and earned nationally recognized healthcare certificates.
Learners progressed through the stackable modules in quick succession over a period of time based on their individual needs. As students completed each module, they were able to enter the workforce in highneed fields and to earn while they learned.
Most importantly, MoHealthWINs enabled Three Rivers and its partners to meet the need for highly trained and credentialed healthcare workers while providing individual students with technical skills and career pathways.
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Three Rivers College’s MoHealthWINs Program Lands Jobs for Southeast Missouri Residents
Last October, Linda Little was unemployed, looking in the newspaper for work that could be done by a hearing impaired person. This February, she started a new job as a Certified Nursing Assistant, hired before she even finished her CNA certification exams—exams that she passed with flying colors, thanks to a new healthcare training program made possible by a MoHealthWINs grant.
“I wanted something stable, something that would last,” said Little. “I opened up a newspaper and there it was. It was something I could use, something I could afford. I gave them a call.”
Little entered the program, which is offered and administered through Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, in November. There, under the supervision of instructor Debi Dancer, RN, BSN, she learned the wide range of skills she’d need in a CNA position, from basic CPR training to assisting with patient care. Little also worked with career mentor, Mary Vandiver, MSCC, to help her work on job applications, workplace skills, and her certification testing.
Her training paid off in February, when Benchmark Healthcare offered her a job as a CNA at its Greenville facility—less than six months after she picked up the newspaper to look for a job.
Debbie Avery, RN, MSN, the Curriculum Supervisor for the MoHealthWINs program at Three Rivers cites Little as one of their success stories. “People like Linda are why the MoHealthWINs program was created,” said Avery. “We take people who are unemployed, or underemployed, and we give them the skills they need to make a living.”
Students who obtain their CNA certification can expect to earn $8 to $10 per hour in an entry-level position, with higher salaries available to applicants who have med-tech and insulin technician training—training that is also available through the Three Rivers branch of the MoHealthWINs grant. The college also offers the ability for students to gain a National Career Readiness Certificate while completing their training, in order to make themselves even more competitive in the job market.
“One big advantage of the course is the fact that it’s low-cost. The MoHealthWINs funding pays for tuition and textbooks, and there’s other funding available that can help pay for insurance and uniforms,” said Avery. “We also provide support for students who struggle with the learning process. The instructors are all seasoned nurses with years of experience in educational and clinical settings.”
The program at Three Rivers launched in October 2012, after the college was awarded part of a $20 million Department of Labor grant aimed at creating new healthcare jobs in Missouri. Little is a member of the first CNA class to be trained at Three Rivers, and is one of two students to be hired into the healthcare field before the class’ certification was completed. The program is offered at the Three Rivers Campus in Poplar Bluff and the Centers in Dexter and Kennett.
For more information on Three Rivers’ MoHealthWINs program, call 573-840-9681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.The first completing class of the Three Rivers gathers for a class photo. Back row, left to right: Natalie Head, Linda Little, Karen Rhoads, Debi Dancer, RN, CNA instructor. Front row, left to right: Randall Ball, Richard Chamberlain.
MoWINs Project Director