Waveny LifeCare Network’s Kathleen M. Fruin, RN Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) School Wins CALA Best Practices


Waveny LifeCare Network announces that its Kathleen M. Fruin, RN Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) School has been awarded the Connecticut Assisted Living Association (CALA) Best Practices Award in the area of Staff Recruitment and Retention. The award was presented to Russell Barksdale, Jr., Waveny’s President and CEO, at CALA’s Annual Membership Meeting & Awards Banquet on Wednesday, December 6th.

Waveny’s CNA School was designed to counteract the nationwide nursing shortage by recruiting, training and employing the most professional, compassionate caregivers possible for its residents and patients.

“We established the Kathleen M. Fruin, RN Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) School to achieve four goals,” said Barksdale. “We are training participants to become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), by obtaining a Connecticut Certified Nurse Aide certificate; transitioning them immediately into Waveny LifeCare Network full-time positions to fill entry level positions (as CNAs) in the dynamic healthcare sector; preparing them for career pathway advancement and growth at Waveny that includes Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or a Registered Nurses (RN) positions; and removing “glass ceilings” by helping them progress through our Network, continue their education, and go on to hold key Manager and Director positions.”

The Kathleen M. Fruin, RN CNA School drives student success with key differentiators like immediate income opportunities and flexible class schedules that accommodate students’ time and financial limitations, so they don’t have to work multiple jobs, worry about daycare availability, or how to pay for school.

The comprehensive training also involves both clinical training in skilled nursing, assisted living and rehabilitation, as well as life-skills training that promotes improved test-taking ability, communication, computer, time management and professional workplace training through Career Resources Inc.’s STRIVE Soft Skills Program.

Other key training components are mentorships that pair tenured, active and advance-degreed-nurses with CNA candidates, and targeted Social Accountability counseling through Open Doors in Norwalk, a resource for people dealing with poverty and homelessness in the greater Norwalk area, offering comprehensive case management services, housing needs assessments, childcare, clothing, as well as one-on-one financial coaching and financial literacy through its Financial Opportunity Center.

Since the launch of the School, 108 students have undertaken the program, and an additional 7 candidates are currently in training. Graduates have been immediately deployed to full-time positions, are making an immediate positive impact on the lives of patients, residents and families, and helping Waveny support economically disadvantaged populations.

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