A group of nurse aides
Nurse Aide I class: (Front, l-r) Rashita Bell, Emily Gibbs, Maia Whitt, Naikira Speller, and Daqaudra Moore. (Back, l-r) Amanda Leathers, Barnetta Chaplin, Elizabeth Sawyer, Gray Mercado, and Kimberly Spruill.

Twenty-nine certified nurse aides & healthcare techs graduate

Certified nurse aides and healthcare technicians have been instrumental in opening nursing homes and assisted living facilities through patient care and monitoring. Residents can once again connect to their families and friends because of the work of nurse aides. These positions are in high demand in rural communities that are aging faster than the population at large. Beaufort County Community College honored students from the nurse aide I, nurse aide II, and phlebotomy programs who achieved their certificates this spring. These healthcare tech classes are all now free thanks to a combination of scholarships and federal funding.

The latest classes to get certified experienced a different setting than their predecessors. North Carolina allowed nurse aide I and phlebotomy students to complete all their training in simulated settings in order to make nursing homes and clinics–and students–safer. Despite these new training protocols, students left the programs feeling ready to take on their new duties. Nurse aide II students were still expected to complete their training in clinical settings.

“There are markers along the way in your career that keep you moving forward on your path,” said Jackie Butcher, director of healthcare programs for the Continuing Education Division, referencing an antique buoy from her grandfather’s time at a lifesaving station in the Outer Banks. “This ceremony is one of those career markers.”

Graduates of the nurse aide programs can provide personal care and perform basic nursing skills for elderly adults. Phlebotomy students learn to draw blood. Students participate in clinical internships as part of the program in locations such as Agape Community Health Center, Healthworx, Vidant Beaufort Hospital or Vidant Multispecialty Clinic.

For many of the students, these classes will give them credentials to start working in the healthcare field while pursuing additional certifications or a nursing degree. Some of them are adding additional credentials onto existing certifications.

Eleven students finished the nurse aide I program, eight completed the nurse aide II program, and ten completed the phlebotomy program.

Jessica Baker, Rashita Bell, Barnetta Chaplin, Amand Leathers, Emily Gibbs, Gray Mercado, Daquadra Moore, Elizabeth Sawyer, Naikira Speller, Kimberly Spruill, and Maia Whitt completed the nurse aide I class.

Tracie Cherry, Brittany Clark, Leticia Jimenez, Zenika Moore, Shirret Outlaw, Sierra Ramirez, Ketoura Wooden, and Courtney Zimmerman finished the nurse aide II class.

Graduates from the phlebotomy program included Cherry Cabellero, Cherryl Caballero, Trina Davis, Perla Garcia, Briana Jones, Luenetta Lewis, Destany Maurizzio, Ashley Rogers, Chrystal Stanley and Elizabeth Washington. Four out of the ten students left the program already employed.

The next programs will start in August. All of these classes are free to qualifying students due to grant and scholarship funding. For more information about BCCC’s healthcare technician programs, interested persons should contact Jackie Butcher, 252-940-6263.