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It takes more than a high school degree and over 200 hours of instruction to become certified as a Nurses’ Assistant. It also takes determination and exceptional time management skills. Especially when you’re a single parent.
Being a mom and juggling kids’ schedules were high on the list of challenges cited by the eight recent graduates of the Picataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative (PVAEC) CNA class.
“You all had to arrange for child care, cooking and shopping while attending class and making time to study,” PVAEC Executive Director Thelma Regan told the graduates at their pinning ceremony in October 2016. “That’s not easy.”
The CNA curriculum ranges from the care of newborns to cadavers and includes CPR, first aid, diseases and job searching. Nancy Hoskins, RN, is one of two CNA program instructors at PVAEC. Hoskins began her long nursing career as a CNA when all her training was the on-the-job. That’s why she loves teaching the 80 hours of clinicals.

Picataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative’s 2016 CNA graduates from left to right are Mandi Cluney, Rhiannon Rosso, Elizabeth Bailey, Shelby Richards, Tiffany Langlais and Chelsey Gustin with instructor Nancy Hoskins. Not pictured Aaron Lamoreau and Brittany Bressette.
“We’re in nursing homes and hospitals, dealing with real people not classroom examples.”
Her pediatrics session even includes a student “Bring Your Children Day” to provide hands-on training on youths of all ages. Besides the clinicals, the CNA program also includes 92 Classroom hours and 36 lab hours.
“Her experience in the field and her passion for the career helped make the class much better in terms of knowing the book knowledge and how it’s applied in the real world,” wrote graduate Aaron Lamoreau of Newport about Hoskins.
For 12 of the lab hours, students practice important personal patient care and comfort skills on each other such as bathing, shaving, shampooing, feeding, brushing teeth and trimming nails.
“You are the eyes and ears of patients - 24/7, in their home, long-term care or short-term,” noted Hoskins. “Stand your ground if you see something wrong.”
The job market for CNAs is strong in Central Maine with a growth rate over the next decade estimated at 21% according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Hospitals need CNAs for their accreditation,” noted Thelma Regan. She also thanked the graduates for their long, hard work. “Your job is vitally important and is also a career springboard.”
Graduates were presented with a pin, diploma, a copy of their skills sheets and criminal background report and an application for the state Certified Nurses Registry.
Two spring 2017 CNA classes are scheduled at PVAEC in Dexter and Dover-Foxcroft. Potential students are required to have their high school diploma or HiSET (formerly GED) and attend PVAEC’s pre-vocational classes to brush up on their reading, math and computer literacy skills. Class size is limited so sign-up now to get the process going.
Serving varying age and learning levels, PVAEC helps academic students finish high school, earn a high school diploma equivalent (HiSET), prepare themselves for college or gain certification in a career. All courses are tailored to each individual learner and their unique needs. These classes may be in a traditional classroom setting with any of PVAEC’s four instructors or online via their extensive career and technical education program library.
For more information on the CNA programs or any of PVAEC’s academic or enrichment classes contact 564-6525 or 1-800-551-6525, Facebook PVAEC or check