coronavirus

Nurse Assistant Program Helps Students Thrive Amid Pandemic

When Issa lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic, she used it as an opportunity to pursue her dream

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The "LearnMore" vocational nurse assistant training program, is helping people get work in the healthcare field, even at a time of economic downturn. The training is aimed at helping underserved communities, including immigrants and refugees.

“I was a cook for about two years and then COVID-19 happened and they had to shut down the restaurant,” said Ifrah Issa, a San Diego resident who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia.

When Issa lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic, she used it as an opportunity to pursue her dream.

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“After that, I had to think about what career I would like to choose and I really only wanted to work in the hospital, so this was the best choice for me,” Issa said.

The students in LearnMore must go through 160 hours of lab and classroom training before becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Once they are certified, they can enter the healthcare industry immediately.

“My life changed like that! I got a job just the next day, right after I got my license,” said Ikechi Dents, an asylee from Nigeria.

Dents is one of the many success stories at LearnMore. Nearly 100 students have gone through the program and become CNAs.  From there many go on to be nurses like Dents, who now works for Kaiser Health.

The vocational training is especially beneficial to immigrants who are dealing with culture shock and language barriers. LearnMore is hoping to attract more students in underserved communities.

The LearnMore nurse assistant training program is made possible through a grant from The San Diego Foundation, and support from San Diego Gas & Electric.

For more information on the nurse assistant training program, or if you are a medical professional looking to volunteer, click here.

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