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/Madison
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 44°
Muscle Shoals
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 51°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 44°
Decatur
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 710427

Reported Deaths: 8970
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby790251186
Davidson73248697
Knox40335452
Hamilton35983347
Rutherford34271298
Unassigned23946140
Williamson22259150
Sumner18862237
Out of TN1644883
Montgomery15200153
Wilson14878167
Sullivan13002221
Blount12382136
Washington12206206
Maury11337131
Bradley11263101
Sevier10877123
Putnam10200152
Madison9364186
Robertson793088
Hamblen7261119
Anderson7031116
Greene6779117
Tipton639571
Coffee578584
Gibson5767117
Dickson559082
Cumberland556777
Bedford546092
Roane536083
McMinn524674
Lawrence524369
Carter5215121
Warren511656
Loudon510352
Jefferson497078
Dyer487487
Monroe471964
Hawkins461473
Franklin426067
Fayette415953
Obion406683
Rhea391858
Lincoln388347
Cocke359063
Marshall358140
Cheatham350332
Weakley345948
Campbell338742
Henderson338659
Giles334476
Carroll318362
White317749
Hardeman315854
Hardin306650
Lauderdale299934
Macon294751
Wayne270325
Henry269960
Overton260546
McNairy249042
DeKalb247443
Haywood245650
Marion236233
Smith235430
Trousdale230617
Scott230432
Claiborne230033
Hickman229836
Fentress217835
Grainger217240
Johnson205335
Morgan196616
Crockett183738
Chester179039
Bledsoe178211
Unicoi170147
Cannon161721
Lake158522
Polk150517
Decatur149027
Union145725
Grundy143622
Sequatchie142120
Humphreys137717
Benton134135
Lewis131121
Meigs119216
Stewart112220
Jackson106624
Clay96526
Perry96325
Houston95226
Moore8319
Pickett69220
Van Buren6758
Hancock4227

Community Events