Penn Highlands offers nursing tuition incentive

From staff reports

Penn Highlands Healthcare announces it will help expand the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center’s Practical Nursing Program by sponsoring tuition for select students who sign an employment agreement.

With the employment agreement, employees have the option of working at one of the many Penn Highlands Healthcare hospitals, outpatient facilities and physician practices in Northwestern-Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Penn Highlands will fund tuition for qualified students enrolled in the full-time or part-time Practical Nursing program, through a partnership intended to address a regional shortage in nursing.

In exchange, qualified students enrolled in CCCTC’s Practical Nursing program will sign an employment agreement that includes a full-time benefits package with the health system. Penn Highlands Healthcare will also sponsor tuition for students currently enrolled in CCCTC’s Practical Nursing program who sign an employment agreement.

“Teaming with Penn Highlands Healthcare, to educate future Licensed Practical Nurses, is an opportunity that everyone needs to check out,” said Fred Redden, CCCTC executive director.

“An educationat potentially no cost, with opportunities to transition into introductory positions while attending school, is that break that some people need a chance for an education to a new career all within one year.We take pride in providing Big Steps to Big Futures and our newest partnership with Penn Highlands is another great local opportunity,” Redden said.

Amber Weis, PHR, SHRM-CP, assistant vice president, Physician Network for Penn Highlands Healthcare, shares Redden’s enthusiasm.

“We are excited to offer this opportunity together with the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center. This is beneficial for both the students seeking careers in nursing as well as for our health system.

“They will receive an excellent education from one of the region’s best technical schools along with a seamless transition into the workforce and we will gain highly qualified nurses to provide care to our patients and communities,” said Weis.

According to Weis, there is a great shortage of registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and Certified Nurses Aids (CNAs).

“We have openings to fill 60 to 70 LPN and 35 to 40 CNA positions across our health system. It is important to note that Penn Highlands Health- care offers outstanding opportunities for advancement from LPN to RN, with additional tuition assistance.”

Practical nursing is a high-priority occupation in the North Central and Northwest Workforce Development Areas, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Center for Workforce Information and Analysis.

The North Central Workforce Development area includes Clearfield, Elk and Jefferson counties and the Northwest Workforce Development area, Clarion County.

A 9 percent increase in jobs is expected through 2030, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics.

To learn more about this opportunity, the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center will be hosting an Open House with Penn Highlands Healthcare from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 27, at the CCCTC located at 1620 River Road in Clearfield.

For additional information about Penn Highlands Healthcare’s tuition sponsorship and employment agreement, contact the Practical Nursing program at (814) 765-4047.


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