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Partners for student success

On Tuesday, June 18, Kentucky State Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Derrick Ramsey recognized Rockcastle Regional and Rockcastle Area Technology Center (ATC) for the formation of the state’s first Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) Youth Apprenticeship in Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program during a special ceremony held in the hospital’s board room.

During the event, Secretary Ramsey recognized the efforts of the many people involved in making the program successful, primarily Rockcastle Regional Chief Nursing Office Tammy Brock, RN, MSN, Rockcastle Regional SRNA Facilitator Julie Mullins, RN, and Rockcastle ATC Health Science Instructor Rhonda Childress as well as the program’s first students Janelle Brown, Brittany Doan, Bailey Johnson, and Lindsay Mink.

TRACK is a partnership between secondary education and a business/industry partner where select students receive training at a secondary education facility and on-the-job training with the business partner. Upon successful completion of rigorous requirements, students earn a nationally recognized certificate as a journeyperson in that field.

The program starts when Rockcastle County High School (RCHS) students have the ability to take the level 1 Health Science elective course as a 9th or 10th grader. From there, select students can advance to the level 2 classes as 11th graders. Nearing the end of their junior year, those students who perform at a high level and express an interest in the nursing field will go through a selection process with Rockcastle Regional to determine the final TRACK Certified Nursing Assistant candidates. Those selected will begin to work for Rockcastle Regional during the summer after their junior year.

During their senior year of school, these students will continue to work for Rockcastle Regional, receive instruction at Rockcastle ATC, and work to obtain their CNA certification. Additionally, these students will obtain on-the-job training in a multitude of competencies while at the hospital.

The culmination of this program is a Journeyperson Certification and a continued position at the hospital after graduation from RCHS. The success of this venture is made possible by the outstanding relationships between Rockcastle Regional, Rockcastle County Schools, and Rockcastle Area Technology Center.

“In today’s healthcare environment, nursing shortages are being seen nationwide,” said Brock. “The TRACK program is an excellent opportunity for our organization to identify talented, intelligent, and highly-driven young people who are interested in the nursing field and help them get on a fast track to jump start their career. It allows students to connect with a potential future employer, as well as gain hands-on experience early on so they can be confident they are choosing the best career path for them.”

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