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HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital partners on CNA training program

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health-care occupations has been projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Health-care occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups but the costs of getting trained for clinical care positions may be higher than some can afford.

To help solve this issue, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, in partnership with Midwest Career Source and St. Clair County’s Workforce Development Apprentice program, are working together to create a bridge into the industry for those with little to no experience.

The hospital’s new Certified Nurse Assistant program is an opportunity for those interested in health care to train on-the-job, while getting paid, in order open the door to numerous career paths within the hospital and HSHS system. The program is also supported by the St. Clair County Workforce Development Apprenticeship Program.

The CNA program is a paid training program that combines classroom education with hands-on clinical experience. This allows participants, who may already have the heart and compassion for clinical care, the opportunity to gain employment and an education, while being paid, in order to enter a rewarding career in the health-care industry. The training allows these colleagues to sit for the Illinois state Certified Nurse Assistant exam which is something they can then use to apply for local area nursing schools. HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Provides tuition assistance for colleagues who are seeking to further their education in an approved health-related field.

“It’s a paid opportunity to learn. This program provides experiences, tools and onsite training to enhance skills and give them added support to grow in the clinical care field,” said program facilitator Lleyna Gorka (shown). “With St. Elizabeth’s CNA program, we are instilling not only the clinical skills but the culture and tradition that comes with the long history of service at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.”

Applications for the first cohort of the CNA program are now being accepted at (job code: Intern-Clinical) and training will start in August. Both day and night shift positions are available.

Some CNA programs require students to pay for the program, which could be cost prohibitive to prospective applicants who are working full-time already or may not have the means. St. Elizabeth’s program is an exciting opportunity because participants get paid while they learn and, upon successful completion of the program objectives and testing, will have a position at the hospital.

“St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is dedicated to the growth and development of new and current colleagues, from the beginning of a career with us through ongoing professional advancement programs and education assistance grants,” said St. Elizabeth’s Chief Nursing Officer Regina Peterson.

The hospital also recently began a four-week RN internship program to add to other educational and job-training initiatives such as the RN Residency, Clinical Ladder program and more.

For information on any of these programs and other opportunities, email or visit




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