Nurse Assistant Training: Creating Healthier Communities Program

The American Red Cross (ARC) prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​

The Central Maryland Red Cross Chapter's Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) Program provides unemployed and under-employed women with the training to become Certified Nursing Assistants and/or Geriatric Nursing Assistants. With this training, participants can become independent, productive members of the community. The typical student is 19-35 years old and living below-the-poverty line with young children to support. Training is 114 hours in length, consisting of lectures, lab work, and clinical instruction. Students also complete a Life Skills Training course that includes job referral/assistance, resume and cover letter writing, and interview preparation. The program is flexible, giving students the option of attending weekday, evening or weekend training. About 90 percent of students successfully complete training.

The current tuition cost is often a barrier for potential candidates. The program costs $1,250 per student. If the student is unable to pay—and scholarship funds are available—the Red Cross will provide a grant of $1,000, with the student responsible for the remainder.

Nurse Assistant training was provided to 18 at-risk, low-wage and unemployed women to become certified nurse assistants (CNAs). ARC had its largest graduation class ever with 14 graduates that included women on scholarships funded by the BWGC.