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Atlantic General Hospital Holds Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Graduation Ceremony

Atlantic General Hospital Holds Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Graduation Ceremony

Front row kneeling (left to right): Porter Bunting, CNA training program graduate; Laura Sturla, nurse manager, Emergency Department; Heather Snyder, director, Quality and Infection Prevention/Employee Health.

Second row standing (left to right): Karen Cooper, clinical education specialist; Bonnie Mannion, education manager; Sarah Coffin, CNA training program graduate; Brianna McDermott, CNA training program graduate; Kelly Fox, clinical education specialist; Emma Konopik, CNA training program graduate; Miracle Handy, CNA training program graduate; Erin Howard, Infection Prevention/Employee Health nurse; Nikki Morris, Intensive Care Unit coordinator.

Atlantic General Hospital and Health System is eliminating barriers to entry into the healthcare workforce with a new training program for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). The program is credentialed through the Maryland Board of Nursing and is seven weeks long, with the final three weeks devoted to hands-on clinical training. An additional week of training is provided for program participants who will become medical office assistants in the physician practice setting.

The first six students were welcomed to the course in April 2023.

“They’re an enthusiastic group, and we’re so happy to have them here,” said Kelly Fox, RN, one of the Education Department’s clinical education specialists, who acted as the lead for the program.

The students are paid an hourly wage during training and receive their instruction and books at no cost, in exchange for a year of paid service as CNAs upon program completion. The goal, Kelly said, is to offer the program twice a year, or as needed, to fill open positions within the hospital and the health system’s physician practices.

“The participants commit to working at Atlantic General for a year, but we hope they remain with us,” said registered nurse Bonnie Mannion, education manager for Atlantic General. “We want them to feel that they are an important part of the wonderful culture we have built here.”

A key aspect of that culture is the importance placed on growing talent from within, and supporting any employee’s desire for learning and ongoing professional development. Many employees have found a pathway to advancement with the help of the organization’s James G. and Nancy W. Barrett Nursing Scholarship and tuition assistance programs.

The first round of graduates from the CNA training program were honored on June 2, 2023.

Congratulations to Atlantic General Hospital’s first ever CNA training program graduates:

Porter Bunting, Emergency Department

Sarah Coffin, Medical/Surgical Unit

Miracle Handy, Surgical Services

Emma Konopik, Intensive Care Unit

Brianna McDermott, Medical/Surgical Unit

The CNA training program is made possible by funds raised during the Tacos, Tiaras and Sombreros fundraiser held by Atlantic General Hospital’s Junior Auxiliary Group.