A trio of Ronan High School students completed a four-and-a-half month Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Program and they attended a “pinning” with a graduation ceremony last Wednesday, May 22.
RHS senior Tori Palmer, and juniors Natalie Workman and Daden Collicott achieved their CNA certification, with each passing a state test. That brings the total graduates of the CNA program to 22. It was stated that 77 percent of those grads remain in the medical field in the community.
Lorraine Frost, RN is the CNA program instructor at RHS. She has been a registered nurse for 46 years. She is a certified health and community educator. “These students worked really hard,” she told those attending the pinning ceremony. “You are part of an important team.” It was the fourth straight year that all the CNA students passed the state test on the first attempt.
Brenda Richey, the MSU Extension Agent for the Flathead Reservation, addressed the students. “You have completed your first college-level course with the seed that was planted this year,” she said.
Lisa Harmon, PhD RN, the chair of the Salish Kootenai College Nursing Department, was the guest speaker. She has been an RN for 41 years.
“I have always loved nursing. I started as a nurse’s aide. It’s a very honorable profession,” Harmon told the graduates. “You are a very important spoke in the wheel of health care.
“Be patient, and provide excellent care to your patients ... These skills keep on going with you.”
RHS boasts the “only” CNA program in Montana, and it’s in its fifth year. “People are watching you, you are groundbreaking,” Frost added.