Valley academy helping many become certified in nursing field

Posted: Updated:

Nurses are going to be in even higher demand once millions of more Americans get insurance under the new federal health care reform law.


“I have a lot of kids,” Olga Ojeda says. “I'm busy, work, injured husband at home, so it makes it a little bit difficult.”

Ojeda knew becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) would not be easy, but when she found MedStar Academy in Peoria, she knew it was possible

“When I came in, she said 'It's only seven weeks',” Ojeda continues. “It’s in the evening, three days out of the week. I'm like 'Wow I can do this'.”

It is the curriculum MedStar Academy offers that helped Ojeda fit school in without having to disrupt her busy life. The program lasts anywhere from six to eight weeks, depending on if you take day, evening or weekend classes.

“All of the classes have 80 hours of classroom didactics and after the 80 hours are finished they take a final exam here and once they pass the final exam they go to their clinical rotations,” Linda Rose explains.

Rose opened the facility in January. It was inspired from the great care her mother-in-law, Rose Rose, received from certified nursing assistants until she died.

“The families are maybe one to two kids now maybe, not like they were years ago where five to six and you could count on the family members to be your caregivers as you aged,” Rose says. “Now we have to depend on outside people.”

While classwork is a big part of the program, Rose said it is the hands-on experience they get with people at Sun Health Grandview Care Center that is really a huge benefit.

“Communication is a major role that the students need to play,” Rose says.  “They must look at the patient holistically.”

“They get the opportunity to participate in the care, learn first-hand how to care for residents not only in the facility, but the home,” Jim Heffernan, Director of Nursing at Grandview Care Center says.

Cecilia Sant says she not only liked that part of the program, but the flexibility it gave her, especially being a single mom.
“It's important for people who have complicated lives,” Sant says.  “It's affordable and it's very convenient to have the after work hours.”

With major changes ahead in our healthcare system, Rose says certified nursing assistants are going to play a much larger role.

“We now know that the need is so great. They're saying in 2011 that number of people turning 65 every day is 10,000 people.

For more information call 623-208-6883 or 623-773-9000 or go to Medstar CNA School.