The Nursing Assistant Certified training program at Christian Health Care Center has been named one of the top-performing programs in the state of Washington, based on the percentage of students who pass the difficult state certification exam.
Making this announcement was the state Department of Social and Health Services, which invited CHCC’s training specialist, Dianne Anderson, to share info about what makes her program a success. Her feedback and experiences were shared at an April DSHS workshop.
Passing the state NAC test is not easy. Anderson knows that, and she’s structured her classes to ensure the best possible result for her students.
Her primary motto is practice, practice, practice.
“I tell my students that if they don’t practice prior to the state test, they will fail it,” Anderson says. “This has proven to be the truth.”
Anderson’s NAC classes at Christian Health Care Center are broken up into two sections: theory and skills. The state has a long list of required knowledge and abilities for nursing assistants, and Anderson aims to ensure her students ace them all.
Every day in class, Anderson’s students have a theory test: eight overall, plus the final exam. To finish the course, students must pass each test with at least 80 percent. They can only retake one exam, and Anderson says that gives students the motivation they need to study hard.
Related: What does an NAC do? Click here to find out.
Students also must learn practical nursing skills; they practice for the final state skills test by working with each other in class under Anderson’s supervision. She helps them correct mistakes and gives tips for doing better next time. The students also have floor rotations during which they work with residents and patients at CHCC.
As a teacher, Anderson promises her students that she’ll always give extra help when they need it. Her only requirement: Her students must also give 100-percent effort.
This agreement has led to astounding success in just the short time that Anderson has been running classes.
For NACs who train at CHCC, there’s more at stake than just the state test. Any student who joins the program also has been vetted for a job at CHCC in Lynden. If they pass the class and the state test, many are offered a job.
And what’s more, CHCC pays all class-related expenses (instructor fee, books, testing and application fees, etc., a $1,000 value). There’s no cost to students for the class.