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Aims Community College Partners with Banner Health to Address CNA Shortage

Aims Community College and Banner Health have partnered to provide frontline service team members at Banner an opportunity to transition into clinical roles by furthering their education while still working at Banner.

Sen. John Hickenlooper with Aims leadership and students
Sen. John Hickenlooper met with Aims leadership and students for a healthcare workforce listening session on April 19, 2022. The Banner/Aims CNA program was discussed at the session. Right to left Terry Anderson, Jessica Chavez, Geneva Cruz, Sen. Hickenlooper, Lyle Achziger and Dr. Leah L. Bornstein.

Colorado is facing a shortage of Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) — positions that are essential for hospitals and long-term care facilities to offer care to patients. Aims and Banner are working together to address this workforce need by providing opportunities to Banner employees in areas such as culinary and nutritional services or environmental services to get education and training to transition into CNA roles. Four students completed the program this spring and two others are registered for upcoming classes. 

Banner employees can take part in the Aims six-week Nurse Aide (CNA) certificate program, including 80 hours of theory and lab studies and 30 hours of clinical experience.

  • Banner has committed to paying for students’ tuition, classroom materials, required background check, and National Nurse Aide Assessment Program certification exam.
  • The participating Banner employees can allot hours of their workweek to the CNA program. 
  • Upon completing the Aims Nurse Aide program, students can take their CNA state certification exam. Aims is a designated testing site and can quickly expedite testing to get students into the workforce.
  • Once certified, program participants will move into CNA positions at Banner.

"This is a phenomenal model for success for organizations looking to upskill their employees through formal education," said Terry Anderson, dean of Allied Health and Wellness at Aims. "It is a program that provides a full wrap-around service and support for student success and is targeted to meet the workforce needs of an organization."

"This program is a win-win for our employees, our organization and our academic partner," said Carrie Brunson, Banner Health director of nursing professional practice and advanced practice providers. "The internal employee program, totally funded by Banner, supports our hard-working team members to pursue career advancement opportunities while still working part-time in their current role. The employees benefit from the opportunity to advance their career path, the organization benefits from retaining our best people, and our partner Aims contributes significantly to supporting our communities by increasing their capacity to enroll and graduate CNAs who are critical members of our health care delivery team."

“I have no words to express how grateful I am for this opportunity and I’m very thankful for Aims and Banner,” said Heilen Beecher, a program participant. “The support of the teachers and all involved in this program are amazing; they make sure you are learning to succeed with amazing support and encouragement. Thanks again for an incredible team of educators.” 

To learn more about the Nurse Aide certificate and other Aims programs, visit aims.edu/degrees-certificates