COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, February 10, 2016 – Two homegrown local Colorado Springs organizations are merging. The Independence Center acquired Front Range Nurse Aide Training Program on November 30, 2015 and recently unveiled its new name: The Independence Center CNA School. The public is invited to an open house on Friday, February 19th from 4:30–6:30 PM to say farewell to the founders of Front Range Nurse Aide Training Program, William and Nancy Whatley. A brief presentation at 5:30 PM will celebrate the Whatley’s legacy and share the vision for what is now The Independence Center CNA School. Address is 7870 N. Academy Blvd. Light refreshments will be served.
The school will serve as a training program for CNAs (Certified Nurse Aides) that The Independence Center hopes to hire upon graduation and certification.
“This is just the sort of out-of-the-box thinking that The Independence Center does. The Home Health Industry has great difficulty finding CNAs to serve consumers. We hope by offering state-certified training ourselves we will retain some of the graduates as well as offer training to non-traditional groups such as people who are deaf or speak other languages and want to work in their community,” Patricia Yeager, CEO of The Independence Center offered.
Demand for CNAs in Colorado has doubled over the past decade. The Colorado Board of Nursing, which provides certification for CNAs, showed 24,816 active CNAs in 2006 jumped to 49,734 CNAs in 2016. The Home Health division of The Independence Center (The IC) has experienced a continual shortage of quality CNA caregivers to serve The IC clients with both physician-directed and client-directed care options.
Katey Castilla, RN, Director of The Independence Center CNA School added, “We also send many of our own qualified personal care attendants to become CNAs so that they can provide care for a broader range of clients than as they could as attendants.” (Training requirements for personal care attendants are less rigorous than for CNAs.)
Front Range Nurse Aide Training Program was established in Colorado Springs in 2006 and has successfully trained over 2,900 people, most of whom have proceeded to become Certified Nurse Aides (CNA), Registered Nurses (RN), Physician Assistants (PA) and even medical students pursuing MDs. Front Range Nurse Aide Training Program was voted the people’s choice winner of the Gazette’s Best of the Springs in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Founders William and Nancy Whatley released a statement saying: “This sale will not only ensure that the school continues to provide our community with a quality training program that promotes high quality care, it will also ensure that the school continues to operate under the administration of a very respectful and ethical organization.”
About The Independence Center
The Independence Center is a local nonprofit organization that provides traditional and self-directed home health care, independent living, and advocacy services for people with disabilities. These services range from providing peer support, skills classes, and employment assistance to individual and systems advocacy. In addition, The IC runs a Certified Nurse Aide school to equip the area with qualified CNAs. The IC’s mission is to work with people with disabilities, their families, and the community to create independence so all may thrive.