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15 Selma High students now certified nursing assistants

Fifteen Selma High School graduates won’t be finishing their senior year with just a diploma — they’ll also be considered certified nursing assistants after successfully completing the schools nursing aid program.

Sharnice Blevins, the nursing program instructor at Selma High School, said the program had a 100 percent pass rate this year, and she couldn’t be more proud of her students.

“It really makes me proud because at the beginning it’s new to them, especially when you’re dealing with high school seniors,” she said. “Just to watch them progress and grow as we got through the program really makes me proud.”

The program is designed to give high school seniors experience in the nursing field and a certification they can use to enter the work force or continue their education.

All 15 Selma students that went through the program passed their certification test and can immediately seek jobs as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

Kerry Evins, who went through the program, said he plans to get a job as a CNA while he goes to school to become a physical therapist.

“While I’m going through college doing that, I’m going to also have a part time job on the side as a CNA,” Evins said. “I feel fantastic being a senior at 17 years old with a CNA certification.”

Alexis Martin is another student that went through the program, and she also plans to use the certification as a stepping stone to one day being a nurse practitioner.

“My dream is to be a nurse practitioner, and in order to become that you have to take certain steps to it, so I felt like being a CNA would be a great opportunity for me to get used to the nursing program and how that field works,” she said.

The students learned the basic fundamentals of nursing, such as making beds, feeding patients, catheter care and other everyday tasks nurses go through.

“It was challenging, but it was a great experience because it’s preparing us for what we’re going to actually see and experience in the nursing program. It’s basically getting us ready for the real world,” said Ta’mya Fuller, who also got her CNA certification.

“I’m just glad we were able to experience this program and I’m just very thankful for it because it’s getting us a step ahead.”

The certification qualifies them for jobs at nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices and any other offices with nursing assistants.

“It’s a very valuable experience because some students may just keep this certification and work as a certified nursing assistant for the rest of their lives,” Blevins said. “It kind of puts them a step ahead and shows them what to expect if they choose to go on and pursue nursing school.”