New Kansas law allows licensed practical nurses to teach CNA courses
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - More certified nursing aides may soon join the healthcare industry in Kansas. A new law allows a licensed practical nurse to teach a CNA. The new law aims to help the shortage of healthcare workers in the state.
Kansas has now joined a handful of states, including Colorado and Oklahoma, where certified nursing aides can be taught by licensed practical nurses. Advocates hope what’s being called a “modernization of guidelines” will bring more CNAs into the healthcare field.
Certified nursing and medical aides are essential in care homes where many residents are living with some form of dementia. Robert Miller, the Vice President of Development for Comfort Care Homes, said the CNAs can spend anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day every day with residents. He recalls last summer when one of his facilities was forced to close due to a shortage of 30 CNAs.
“There’s always someone here that is caring for those individuals, if not multiple people. Therefore with 9 properties and serving close to a hundred residents, you can see, we need a lot of staff,” Miller said.
Along with the Wichita Chamber and WSU Tech, Miller decided to work on changing a Kansas law. In April, Senate Bill 453 was passed allowing LPNs to teach CNA courses under the supervision of a registered nurse.
“We’re one of less than a dozen states now that have modernized our legislation in order to create a talent pipeline for healthcare,” said Dr. Sheree Utash, president of WSU Tech.
Any CNA program in Kansas can now take advantage of this new law including WSU Tech. The college hopes to double the number of students in the program.
“In the next 60 days, we will train over 80 CNA students. We’ve never been able to do that. But we can because of this flexibility,” said Dr. Utash.
Miller said he hopes the new law will help with staffing, and help reopen the home that had to close.
“We just want people to have the heart to do this work and also sure the care I want for my mom and dad is what we can offer to the general public,” Miller said.
If you are interested in the 5-week CNA program at WSU Tech, scholarships are available. You can apply for the program at https://wsutech.edu/get-started/.
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