CNA class to be first step in skill center vision for school

Registered nurse sought to teach part time


The Grand Coulee Dam School District is visualizing possibilities for what they call a “skill center,” a place where students can learn skills that lead directly to jobs, particularly jobs in the local area.

The district is working on the project in collaboration with the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center based in Moses Lake, where GCDSD Superintendent Paul Turner, as well as GCDSD board members, will be visiting to bring some of the same opportunities to this area.

One solid program of the skill center taking shape soon will be a certified nursing assistant program, in which interested students can take a class that can lead to them becoming a CNA, a position Coulee Medical Center has a regular need to fill. The plan is for the class to begin in fall of 2018.

“Coulee Medical Center is excited for the high school’s pursuit of starting an NAC program,” said CMC Director of Nursing Services Christy Phillips. “Our hospital faces a constant challenge in recruitment of local candidates to fill all of our job roles. Building high quality, patient-centered candidates through local classes would be a great asset to the hospital and, most importantly, for the community the hospital serves. We are looking forward to supporting and assisting the high school students and staff!”

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Turner said the job is a half-time position. “They would have to go through some teaching training this summer, and then they would be a half-time instructor, come fall.”

The candidate will have to be a registered nurse, so ideally a “nurse who has always had that desire to teach kids,” Turner said.

Once the CNA class is established, the idea is to expand the skill center in fall of 2019 to include training for other jobs, as well, the idea being to “expand vocational opportunities and career opportunities” for local students, according to Turner.

“There are some career opportunities we’re talking about including with the skill center,” Turner said about school board discussions. “There are some things the Bureau (of Reclamation) is in dire need of that maybe we could put some classes together for.”

Students enrolling in the skill center will be taking part in three hours of classes that will include an English credit, a science credit, half a health credit, and half an elective credit toward their high school graduation requirements.

Currently, the old high school building in Coulee Dam is referred to as the Career Technical Education building, and is being considered to be used for the skill center, but the former middle school in Grand Coulee could be used as well, something that will need to be sorted out prior to the fall.

The district will also hire someone to serve as an administrative to run the skill center, while also teaching at the district’s Alternative Learning Environment program that is reopening this fall.


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