The nursing department of Georgia Highlands will soon be hosting informational sessions about the nursing program which will include information on the new CNA (certified nursing assistant certificate) requirement.
According to Health Science Dean Janet Alexander nursing students who are accepted into the fall 2016 program need a CNA license before they start the program. Beginning with the fall 2017 nursing class, students will be required to have the CNA license before applying for admission into the program.
Director of Nursing Rebecca Maddox explained that she will also be working with the science department to discuss the new CNA requirement. This will help spread the word to prospective nursing students in the microbiology and anatomy and physiology courses.
The goal is to inform aspiring nursing majors of the change in requirements and to explain what else they can do to qualify for entering the nursing program. These sessions will be brief and students may ask questions.
Students are usually aware that they are taking a chance when they are trying to enter the nursing program. David Pulliam, a pre-nursing major, said, “The pre-nursing biology courses start with the professors telling students that 2/3 of the students will probably not pass and that studying for exams and lab practicals will generally require more dedication than a full-time job.”
However, the new CNA requirement is costing students approximately $700 before they know they are getting accepted into the GHC nursing program.
For Pulliam, having the CNA certification is a beneficial route to get him more experience in nursing and will make him more employable at other hospitals. He feels having a CNA license ensures that students will gain more experience in the field and will have a better understanding of what the nursing career is actually like.
Not every school has this requirement. There is no mention of a CNA requirement on the nursing admission webpages for Kennesaw State University, the University of West Georgia or Georgia Southern University.
The information session dates and times have not been set. Students who would like more information may contact the department of nursing at 706-295-6321.