Jefferson Chamber of Commerce

05/06/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/06/2019 07:50

Ochsner Pins First Practical Nursing Apprenticeship Class in State

COVINGTON, La.-Ochsner Health System has partnered with the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) and Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC) on a new Registered Apprenticeship program to prepare individuals with healthcare backgrounds for careers as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). The first class was recently honored during a pinning ceremony at Ochsner Health Center-Covington. Details were shared in a press release.

'Ochsner is proud to honor this tradition and share in this momentous occasion with our students and their families in their journey to becoming a nurse,' said Dr. Missy Sparks, Ochsner vice president talent management-workforce development. 'Education has always been a cornerstone of Ochsner, and we are proud to offer this program that provides students with a unique opportunity as they advance their careers from Medical Assistants (MA) to LPNs.'

The Ochsner LPN Registered Apprenticeship Program is an outcome of a 2016 federal grant awarded to the LWC to increase the state's number of Registered Apprenticeship programs. The grant was developed as a direct response to the need for LPNs at Ochsner and throughout the healthcare care industry.

'Our partnership with Ochsner has made significant strides toward diversifying career pathways in Louisiana, and the cultivation of this LPN apprenticeship is no exception,' said LWC secretary Ava Dejoie. 'It speaks to the desire of many healthcare professionals to advance their careers and provides an effective avenue to achieve that goal. We look forward to witnessing the countless success stories that this program will undoubtedly generate.'

The inaugural class completed the program with 100 percent of the students passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for practical nurses. Each graduate is employed by Ochsner in hospitals and clinical facilities across the system.

'Under the direction of our Governor John Bel Edwards, it is the LWC's mission to put people to work,' Dejoie said. 'Thus, we continuously strive to create meaningful and successful pathways for Louisianans to utilize in their career journeys. The LWC is proud to have been able to foster partnerships, which undoubtedly benefit many residents of our great state.'

The pilot LPN apprenticeship is accredited by the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners. This 12-month program offered through NTCC features classroom and clinical components. Upon completion, graduates earn a technical diploma in practical nursing.

'This MA to LPN program has given NTCC the opportunity to design and provide a non-traditional accelerated program for this unique population,' said Lori Sterling, BSN, RN, lead instructor of health sciences nursing, NTCC-Hammond Campus. 'Aligning with our mission, we were able to work closely with Ochsner to accommodate and meet the needs of our community, industry and the individual students for quality workforce training.'