Help for nurses and patients

June 19, 2015

Learn practical nursing and other nursing-related health occupations at JCCC

Looking for a job where demand is increasing? Consider becoming a licensed practical nurse through study at Johnson County Community College.

As the baby boomer generation ages, more of the American population will be over 65 years old. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that around 20 percent of the population will be 65 or older by 2030. That’s a 7.2 percent increase from 2000.

The aging population will need caregivers, and JCCC’s practical nursing and nursing-related occupational programs prepare those workers for careers in assisted living centers, nursing homes, home health, hospice, clinics and physicians’ offices.

In a four-county area of Kansas (including Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Miami counties), hundreds of new jobs are predicted, resulting in a 28 percent increase in the number of employed practical nurses and health care workers.

Why choose JCCC?

At the Olathe Health Education Center (OHEC) near Olathe Medical Center at 151st Street and Interstate 35, students learn using the latest technology. Using active learning, students develop the necessary attitudes and skill sets that make them in demand by local health care businesses. Practice with patient simulators and electronic medical records add to graduates’ marketability.

Jane Zaccardi, director of the practical nursing and health occupations programs, said her program attracts a very diverse student population.

“We have been pleased to note that more men are entering health-occupation programs at JCCC, a career historically dominated by women,” she said. “In fact, we have formed a student group called the ‘Dudes in Nursing’ for men enrolled in our programs, or those interested in a career in healthcare.”

What’s available?

The programs offered at JCCC include:

Licensed practical nurse: Provides nursing care to selected patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. Successful completion of the program prepares students to take the practical nursing licensing exam. After completing the practical nursing program, LPNs may continue their education to become a registered nurse. 880 hours of instruction, 45 to 48 program hours.

Certified nurse aide: Provides classroom and clinical instruction for basic care of clients in long-term and acute-care facilities. Skills taught include daily hygiene, bedside care, vital-sign measurement, positioning and safe transfer of clients in addition to common health problems and chronic illnesses. Clinical practice sessions are conducted in the nursing home setting. Courses are also offered online. 96 hours of instruction, 5 program hours.

CNA refresher: Provides the state requirement to reactivate a CNA certificate. (In Kansas, a certified nurse aide is required to work at least eight hours every two years for the CNA certificate to remain active.) This 21-hour refresher course includes 12 hours of classroom instruction and 9 hours of laboratory experience. 1 program hour.

Certified medication aide: Covers information related to many commonly prescribed medications, including classification, side effects and techniques of administration. The Kansas CMA examination is administered to those who successfully complete this 80-hour course. CMAs are eligible to work in an expanded role in a nursing home or assisted living facility. 4 program hours.

CMA update:  Meets the state requirements for recertification and includes review of commonly used drugs and their interactions with foods and other drugs. Classes are also available online. Certified medication aides in Kansas are required to obtain 10 hours of continuing education every two years to renew the CMA certificate. 15 hours of instruction, 1 program hour.

Home health aide: Provides support services for people of all age levels in the home setting. Nutritional meal planning, task modification, emotional support and personal services to clients and families needing health care assistance at home are covered. 21-hour course, 1 program hour.

Who to contact

For more information, contact the program office at 913-469-2350; or Gail Munoz or Judy Callaghan, administrative assistants for practical nursing and health occupations.