The Technical College of the Rockies (TCR) will graduate 14 nurse aide certificate program students at the close of the college’s Fall 2019 term. In addition to attending TCR, the nursing students are also concurrently enrolled at either Delta High School (DHS) or Cedaredge High School (CHS).
CHS students are Saidee Antal, Violet Gonzales, Tevin Keller, Damon Hudson, Richard (Ryan) Imhoff, Elle Lewis, Kiara Palmer, Ember Patterson and Wyatt Smith. DHS students are Jacqueline Blanco, Triston Huff, Elise Ling, Karen Martinez and Abigael Watts.
The nurse aide program is a cooperative program between the technical college and Delta County School District 50J. Rebecca Thatcher serves as pre-collegiate counselor for the school district. She is also the district’s Career Technical Education (CTE) administrator. The CTE program allows students to explore a variety of career clusters prior to high school graduation. Current programs available through county high schools include agriculture, business, pre-engineering, health, journalism and commercial art and design. If the cluster calls for concurrent enrollment, the school district pays student costs.
In addition to classroom instruction in health care skills and theory, TCR Nurse Aide students participate in a clinical experience in area nursing homes. Students are also prepared to take the rigorous national Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination to earn official certification.
The nurse aide program is available as an in-person class and lab at the TCR’s main Delta campus and as a hybrid class with online theory, in-person lab and clinical components through the Delta and Montrose campuses. Delta courses are already underway. Montrose hybrid classes run from Feb. 28-March 15, 2020. For enrollment information, contact the TCR Admissions Office at 970-874-6540.
Deanna McCoy, RN, serves as the TCR nurse aide coordinator and instructor. She said the nurse aide program provides practical instruction and hands-on experience but also “focuses on caring for people from the inside out.”
Asked about their experiences, some students from the class of Fall 2019 said they learned about the concurrent college/high school program from their school counselors, but most enrolled because they learned about the course from other students. The students are impressed with the amount of hands-on experience included in the nurse aide curriculum and with the quality and enthusiasm of their college instructor.
A graduation ceremony for nurse aide students and other TCR students completing Fall 2019 programs will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, at the Delta Performing Arts Center, 822 Grand Ave.