STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Skilled to Work: Drake State to offer regional testing for certified nursing assistant certification

Jessica Ables, 22, practices testing vitals on a school mannequin at Drake State Community and Technical College.
Jessica Ables, 22, practices testing vitals on a school mannequin at Drake State Community and Technical College.

The CNA testing will start at Drake State in January 2020 and will be offered one Saturday a month.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 11:01 PM

When considering what line of work to go into, 22-year-old Jessica Ables said it was an easy call to make.

"When I was really young, my dad was in a car accident, a motorcycle accident. And he was at the rehabilitation center that I used to work at – twice actually. He had two separate wrecks," said Ables. "So that was what kind of really inspired me to be a CNA and be a nurse."

Ables is currently working her way toward an associates degree as a registered nurse at Drake State Community and Technical College. She spent the past five years working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

According to the 2019 National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report, the number four reason for leaving the heath care industry was retirement.

"In fact, tens of thousands of them are reaching retirement age just about every day and that’s something that you see in Huntsville that’s growing," said Dr. Alice Raymond, Director of Innovation and Program Success at Drake State.

Dr. Raymond said one of the ways Drake State is working to combat the turnover is by becoming a regional center to offer CNA certification.

"In the theory testing area, we can test up to 25 students and in the labs, we can test up to six students at a time. So our testing days will be Saturdays. So on a Saturday, we can easily go through 30 people," said Dr. Raymond.

The testing program will come online in January 2020. Dr. Raymond said without them, students would have to travel as far away as Gadsden State Community College and Talladega College for the test.

She said becoming a CNA is also a good way to enter into the health care industry.

"The nursing assistant program is like a stepping stone to something bigger... once you get your feet wet, as a CNA, at that point they will know: this is for me or this is not for me," said Dr. Raymond.

Ables added that while being a CNA is certainly a challenging profession, it allows people to interact with others in a unique way.

"I've had patients that were roadies for like country music stars. I've had patients who were spies in the war. I've had some interesting back stories for sure. So getting to know that and learn the life that they lived is pretty cool," said Ables.

To learn more about the CNA program at Drake State, click here.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 56°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 53°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
Shelby23186239
Baldwin20701302
Lee15589165
Calhoun14342311
Morgan14158271
Etowah13685346
Marshall11995220
Houston10404278
Elmore10011200
Limestone9852147
Cullman9503189
St. Clair9463234
Lauderdale9265228
DeKalb8757181
Talladega8115171
Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
Colbert6229130
Coffee5424113
Dale4772111
Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
Barbour226455
Hale218575
Butler212967
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
Bullock121640
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 830484

Reported Deaths: 12049
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby927281585
Davidson87309923
Knox49411623
Hamilton43254481
Rutherford41816420
Williamson27237214
Sumner23155339
Montgomery19075224
Wilson17979224
Out of TN1794598
Unassigned16655134
Sullivan16096287
Blount14963194
Bradley14518147
Washington14129242
Sevier13116174
Maury13021168
Putnam11155173
Madison10771240
Robertson9567127
Anderson8599171
Hamblen8478170
Greene7715152
Tipton7216102
Coffee6824121
Dickson6724109
Cumberland6555127
Carter6443156
Bedford6409127
Gibson6387144
McMinn634295
Roane6174102
Jefferson6061121
Loudon601169
Lawrence578686
Hawkins5766106
Monroe570295
Warren550881
Dyer5357104
Franklin508388
Fayette490377
Obion449996
Cocke442998
Cheatham442254
Rhea430375
Lincoln429563
Marshall410358
Campbell408462
Weakley401962
Giles393998
Henderson372475
Macon357376
Carroll357182
White353968
Hardin349166
Hardeman345863
Lauderdale314244
Henry311875
Marion308346
Claiborne305573
Scott305145
Overton296360
Wayne294234
Hickman279645
McNairy276754
DeKalb274953
Smith273938
Haywood268161
Grainger258449
Trousdale248722
Morgan245539
Fentress238046
Johnson230238
Bledsoe209411
Chester209351
Crockett200948
Polk199024
Unicoi194149
Cannon188831
Union185634
Grundy177232
Humphreys173621
Lake169526
Sequatchie166428
Benton162940
Decatur157338
Lewis155726
Meigs134123
Stewart130028
Jackson129635
Clay109031
Houston108333
Perry105728
Moore99717
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54712

Community Events