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Osakis Voices: Galeon addresses nursing shortage

Today's students will eventually enter the workforce and being prepared is an essential part of being successful. Parents and teachers help prepare kids with the skills necessary to have a successful career. Beyond the core subjects, students need to be taught other technical and practical skills to ensure they are ready for their next life path whether that includes employment or additional schooling.

In collaboration with Osakis Public Schools, Galeon is offering the chance for students to broaden their horizons and learn additional skills in the nursing field. Many college courses in the healthcare field are requiring that students have a certified nursing assistant certificate prior to enrollment and most technical colleges have long waiting lists for LPN and RN programs.

Workforce shortages in western Minnesota health care facilities have caused many facilities to become creative in attracting new employees. After a number of conversations with the Osakis Public School, a plan was put into place. Karen Moen, a current Registered Nurse employed at Galeon was chosen to attend a training program in order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant instructor. Galeon will become another site recognized by the state as an option for individuals to be trained and receive their nursing assistant certificate. Our hopes are to have the first class start in January of 2018.

Successful conversations have been had with the superintendent, guidance counselor and several students at Osakis Public School. Currently there are five or six students ready to take the first class. Current staff members of Galeon also have the opportunity to enroll into the class to further their education.

Students will be able to gain hands-on experience with this program in place. Training will take place on our campus with our current residents. We will also have a classroom and a skills lab on site for practicing their skills. In our experience, there is no better way to learn the job than to do it firsthand.

Galeon is offering this class at no cost. The students will be required to pay for their test at the completion of the class, but will be reimbursed if they choose to be employed by Galeon and they successfully complete the first 90 days of employment.

Our goal is to hire these students upon passing their test. With the experience we will provide we are hoping to alleviate that "new job stress" due to being familiar with having a better understanding of their new job.

We are very excited for this new opportunity that Galeon has to offer in accordance with the Osakis Public School.

Happy holidays from everyone at Galeon!