Crystal Lake District 155 to offer certified practical nurse program starting next year – Shaw Local

A new Certified Practical Nursing Program is in the works at Crystal Lake Community High School District 155, including a new classroom with patient care beds.

The semester-long certification process will allow students across the school district to receive instruction from a school nurse, along with shadowing time and an internship.

A classroom at Crystal Lake Central High School will be remodeled to reflect what a student would experience in a medical setting, including four patient care beds, Superintendent Steve Olson said. The district will use a $1.5 million McHenry County Advance Grant awarded to District 155 in January to build the facility.

Licensed practical nurses provide basic care and help patients with activities of daily living.

Students can choose to enroll in the course, which begins next year.

The goal is to initially have 16 students enrolled, said Justin DeBolt, the district’s new director of career experiences. Free places will first go to juniors and seniors, the rest being offered to the youngest.

The move aligns with some of the components of the district’s strategic plan for collaborative partnerships and graduating students with purpose, Olson said.

Once students earn a practical nursing certificate, DeBolt said they will be able to choose from a number of pathways, including taking classes at McHenry County College, a District 155 partner, or starting their careers in a local nursing home or hospital.

While researching the district’s strategic plan in 2018, officials surveyed the community and discovered interest in this type of programming.

“Through this process, 60% of people told us they want students to be better prepared for the job market,” Olson said. “Our vision is to be a relevant and vital part of the community.”

District 155 also has a commercial kitchen at Crystal Lake South High School, manufacturing labs at Cary-Grove High School and business incubators at Crystal Lake Central and Prairie Ridge, DeBolt said.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of nursing assistants and patient service associates is expected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Approximately 192,800 openings for nursing assistants and beneficiary attendants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Median salaries in 2020 were $30,830 per year.

The grant the district received was part of Advance McHenry County, a program created by the McHenry County Board to help disperse the nearly $60 million the county received from the U.S. bailout Bill of $1.9 trillion economic stimulus passed by Congress in the spring of 2021.

The Advance McHenry County program is currently in its first phase, which officials say will see half of the total money used. Of the $29.8 million for the first phase, $14 million is earmarked for infrastructure projects, while $8 million will be used for manufacturing, labor development and employment programs, it said. officials said.

Along with school district funding for the practical nurse program, the first grants awarded last month were used to purchase equipment for the new Foglia Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation at McHenry County College and the Child Advocacy Center at McHenry County. , which aims to help child victims of abuse.

Two other grants were awarded this month, one to the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center for training and other assistance to help local businesses and the other to create a summer internship program by the through the Manufacturing Pathways Consortium at McHenry County College.

The remaining $6 million will be split among nonprofits, as well as special districts and local government agencies that did not receive U.S. bailout funds, officials said.

Ryan H. Bowman