Excel Nurses Assistant Program: increasing health care capacity in Mississippi

Chickasaw and surrounding counties in Mississippi do not have enough Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to respond to healthcare needs in regional nursing homes, hospices, and home-health agencies ARC invested in The Excel Nurse Assistant Program in Okolona. With ARC support offers CNA preparation annually to 20 residents in Chickasaw County and prepares students ages 25-45 for a career in healthcare.

Excel staff advertises, recruits, registers and screens applicants for the CNA program Students in the program which includes eight weeks of course work, 96 hours of onsite clinical training, two weeks of lab time, skills testing, and written testing over 3-4 months. In addition, Excel nursing staff teach orientation classes, supervise job shadowing placements, and recommend strong candidates to Itawamba Community College for further study. Those students attend Itawamba Community College, and the program provides professional supplies (scrubs, lab coats, stethoscope), immunizations, background screenings, drug tests; and meals during their clinical training. The Excel Nurse-Administrator also follows-up with students as they progress through the CNA and testing programs.