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CNA Certification Program Collaboration

Grinnell College, Iowa Valley Community College (Grinnell IA), and The Mayflower Community (Grinnell) are collaborating to train Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) for life-experience work in healthcare at Mayflower.  A certified nurse aide is a person who worksprimarily in long-term care (nursing facilities)assisting residents with activities of daily living under the supervision of a nurse.

Ten Grinnell College students have been selected to begin their training with instructor, Vickie Wieck, RN, Mayflower’s Assistant Director of Nursing.  Their first session was April 30that Mayflower.  Vickie has been certified to teach the program by Iowa Valley Community College.  For the prospective CNAs, State of Iowa certification requires 75 hours of classroom coursework to include lectures and lab time, working on specific skills.  In addition, the students will have “on the floor” clinical time with residents.

The program is designed to meet the needs of undergraduate students who must participate in health profession internships in order to take the next step in graduate studies.  It was a brainchild of Kellie McGriff, Mayflower’s Associate Director/Administrator based on the experience of her son who is a pharmacy school doctoral candidate.

Collaborating to develop this program were Susan Sanning, Associate Dean & Director for Service and Social Intervention, Grinnell College; Mary Jane Shroyer, Director, Health Professions Career Community, Grinnell College; Cheryl Little, Director, Health Education, Iowa Valley Community College (Marshalltown IA); Jacki Hicklin, Director of Nursing, The Mayflower Community; and McGriff.  In the attached photo, this group is involved in a candidate selection meeting.

Instructor Wieck has observed, “This is a great new opportunity for the “joined” communities of The Mayflower Community, Grinnell College, and Iowa Valley.  Our nursing world needs CNAs trained to meet the resident’s needs, so that is the goal.”

At the close of the current Grinnell College semester on May 20th, the students will vacate their dorm rooms. They will then live in apartments on the Mayflower campus to continue their studies until completion on June 20th.  In the attached photo, the students are pictured in their first class session.

While on the Mayflower campus, the students will be completing two and a half hours of certified Dependent Adult Abuse training and working on “Living Portraits” for the Mayflower Health Center residents, under the supervision of Rhonda Hudson, LBSW, social worker.  The Living Portrait is a photo/narrative, ledger-sized page of information about the individual resident that highlights their background and their interests.  It is then displayed in a specially-designed frame outside their suites.

In describing Living Portraits, Hudson has said, “A resident is more than medical conditions.  Each resident has a history—a family, experiences, career, hobbies, and interests. Our staff wants to know about his or her background so that they may relate to the whole resident.”

Founded in 1950, the Mayflower Community is the only healthcare provider in Poweshiek County offering Medicare certified skilled nursing care, certified assisted living, and licensed residential care, all on one campus.  More than 280 people make their homes in the Mayflower Community’s healthcare, independent living apartments, patio homes, and the new Watertower Square apartments.  More information is available at by calling 641-236-6151.

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