Apprenticeships are becoming a practice in the nursing world.
The nursing program and apprenticeship program at Lake Region State College (LRSC) have collaborated to create a nursing apprenticeship program. This program is designed to meet workforce needs in North Dakota. Early in 2021, the North Dakota Board of Nursing approved nurse apprentices as an innovative educational model/approach.
In June, the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford became the first healthcare facility to join into an apprenticeship agreement with Lake Region State College.
“I am very excited to work with LRSC on the new LPN Apprenticeship Program. Our facility has so many employees that have great potential to advance in their roles here at LHGS and this program will allow them the ease and convenience of continuing their education while working,” said Peggy Dockter, Director of Nursing at Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd.
In the LRSC apprenticeship model, the student can “earn while they learn”, said Julie Traynor, Director of the Dakota Nursing Program.
“Many community college students need to work while they attend school,” said Karen Clementich, LRSC Nursing program director.
The apprenticeship has ground rules agreed upon with the employer that provides a structured wage, set step increases, and opportunity for continued employment at the completion of the apprenticeship.
The combination of academic program requirements plus the apprenticeship (on-the-job learning, a mentor relationship with a staff nurse, and eventually a Department of Labor certificate of completion) provides a rigorous and sturdy base that socializes students to the nursing profession and prepares them for an in demand and challenging career.