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BCTC starting nurse aide program

by Katheran Wasson
Courtesy of The Winchester Sun

When Bluegrass Community and Technical College opens its new Winchester campus next month, it will also roll out a new course to train nurse aides.

BCTC officials hope the 75-hour course will jump start a complete nursing program in Winchester - to eventually offer students certification as licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, too.

"This is a wonderful step," said Rena Robinson, regional nurse aide coordinator for BCTC. "It's a step in the right direction."

The college will partner with Clark Regional Medical Center to build the program, placing students at the hospital for their required clinical rotation.

"They get their hands dirty, their feet dirty, their faces dirty," Robinson said. "They learn."

JoEllen Reed, community liaison for the college, said the entities will find other ways to partner along the way, including bringing in Clark Regional staff as guest lecturers.

"It's going to be an exciting venture, for all the programs we're going to bring, not just now, but in the future," she said.

The school will dedicate a classroom in its new Winchester campus to the nursing program, Reed said. With the help of donations from Home Convalescent, Wal-Mart, local physician Dr. Rankin Skinner and Clark Regional Medical Center, the school is amassing the tools needed for training - hospital beds, bed pans, restraints, bedding and more.

After taking an exam, students who complete the course can work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, doctors' offices and other health care settings. Robinson said the college can help students with job placement.

"We teach leadership skills with this class," she said. "It's not just about learning the hands-on skills."

Reed said she hopes that as the nursing program expands, so will the new Winchester campus. Doors are slated to open for classes in the first building May 6.

"We're just blessing every little piece of grass and dirt out there," she said.

The nurse aide class will be offered in Winchester in daytime and evening sessions starting May 7, and in Lexington on Saturdays. Winchester has added a second section of the class, after the first one nearly filled up.

College officials also hope to make Winchester a site for the certification test.

For more information about the BCTC nurse aide program, contact Robinson at rena.robinson@kctcs.edu or (859) 246-6638.

Copyright:The Winchester Sun 2008