A free program to train Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) will soon be offered in Aroostook County.

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle and Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill are once again partnering with MSAD 42 Adult Education to offer this free CNA training.

Both the hospital and the long-term/skilled care facility continue to have a shortage of trained CNAs, and they implemented this program to help what they call “grow our own.”

Odette Lee, RN, coordinator of the program, explains it allows participants to work full-time and be guaranteed a position after graduation.  It is streamlined and geared towards rapid completion.

There are three ways participants can take part in the program. In the first two options, the program is free and participants are paid as temporary employees while they are training. The difference between the two is whether they make a one-year commitment working full-time or a two-year commitment working part-time at Continuing Care in Mars Hill.  For the third option, participants can pay the tuition for the course and do not have any commitment to work for Northern Light Health after finishing the program.

For more details about the program, two informational sessions are being held: Thursday, March 5, in the Grant Room at Continuing Care in Mars Hill and Thursday, March 12, in the conference center at AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle.  Both are scheduled from 5-6 pm. Anyone interested in potential enrollment in the course is encouraged to attend one of these sessions to get their questions answered and pick up an application.