Northwestern Medicine launches 16-week nursing assistant program, nurse educator joined to discuss

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Northwestern Medicine launches 16-week nursing assistant program
Northwestern Medicine nurse educator Tacora Love joined to discuss the launch of the new program certifying nursing assistants after 16 weeks of training.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The need for nurses continues to grow in Chicago.

To help bridge the gap caused by the nursing shortage, Northwestern Medicine launched a program where after four months, a person can be hired as a patient care technician, or even go to nursing school.

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Tacora Love, a Northwestern Medicine nurse educator, joined ABC7 Chicago Wednesday to discuss Northwestern Medicine's Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program.

According to a 2020 report by the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center, Illinois will face a shortage of nearly 15,000 registered nurses by 2025.

That number can be attributed to many factors, including the growing number of patients requiring care as baby boomers age, Love said.

"For anybody that's thinking of becoming a nurse, now is the time. We need you," she said.

The Basic Nursing Assistant Training program is a step towards a career in nursing. The course trains students to be nursing assistants.

Northwestern's nursing assistant program is different from a nursing program, which is required to become a nurse.

Nursing assistants support nurses by taking care of day-to-day tasks, such as checking vital signs, grooming and feeding patients.

"Our nursing assistants are our eyes and ears for the nurses and the healthcare team," Love said.

The training program takes place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital with instruction in classroom, lab and clinical settings.

"What we look for is anybody at the core of their heart who's looking to care for people. People who are dedicated, people who are empathetic, compassionate and kind," Love said.

For more information about the program, visit