Ashlee Pollock’s dream of working in nursing is become a reality with opportunities through Lorain County Community College and University Hospitals.
Pollock is part of the first group of students to participate in a UH/LCCC LPN Earn and Learn program that allows current UH employees working as patient care nursing assistants (PCNA) to earn the licensed practical nurse (LPN) credential. Students in the program remain full-time employees at UH, earning full pay and benefits, while they complete LPN courses and training through LCCC.
For Pollock, 32 from Elyria, the program came at the perfect time. In April, she earned her state tested nursing assistant (STNA) credential through LCCC’s Fast Track and Elyria Skill City programs. She began work in July as a PCNA at UH and was accepted to the UH/LCCC LPN Earn and Learn program.
“Everything with LCCC has been opportunity after opportunity,” Pollock said. “This program is amazing. I can still work and get paid while I complete the next step in my education.”
Upon completion of the LPN program, Pollock and the other students in the program will have the opportunity to be hired full-time at UH as LPNs.
The new earn and learn was developed after University Hospitals noticed an unmet need for LPNs and turned to LCCC to develop a creative solution.
“I am so excited about this first cohort of the LPN Earn and Learn program in partnership with LCCC,” said Adrianne Shadd, manager of workforce development and outreach for University Hospitals Health System. “It’s been wonderful working with LCCC to create workforce development programming that addresses barriers to employment and skill building.”
Earn and learn opportunities are built into many LCCC program pathways. Expanding that model to the LPN program makes sense, said Debbie Brown, LPN program coordinator.
“We work closely with UH as a clinical partner, as well as a place where our graduates are hired. Bridging that gap with this LPN earn and learn provides even more opportunities for students and for the hospital to develop and retain highly skilled nurses,” Brown said.