INDIANAPOLIS, IN — With the help of American Senior Communities and the Opportunities to Nursing Excellence Program, 10 senior healthcare workers, including three from the Ft. Wayne area, are starting careers as registered or licensed practical nurses.
They all completed nursing programs at accredited schools throughout the state, with costs paid by American Senior Communities (ASC), a network of 87 Senior Rehabilitation and Memory Care facilities throughout Indiana. Most of the graduates have passed state board examinations and are now licensed or registered nurses.
The Fort Wayne area graduates are: John Gilruth, a registered nurse at Glenbrook Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center; Comaron Langhorne, a registered nurse at Heritage Park, and Angie Hancock, a registered nurse at Betz Nursing Home.
ASC locations across the state nominate staff members who go through a rigorous application process to enter the Opportunities to Nursing Excellence (O2NE) program. Selected candidates are then offered the opportunity to return to school, fully paid for by ASC. They are also given a 30-hour work schedule while being paid for their regular 40-hour schedule, allowing additional time for classes and study without being penalized financially.
ASC also provides assistance for childcare, alleviating another common stress point for adults returning to school. Since the program asks graduates for no obligation to ASC, they are free to use the education wherever they choose. Over 135 participants have completed their education through the program, which started in 2008.
Donna Kelsey, CEO of American Senior Communities said, “It’s been amazing to see the impact the program has had on their lives, the lives of their families, and on the people they care for in our communities. It’s very moving to see the pride of accomplishment in their faces. They did the hard work; we just afforded them the opportunity to do it.”
A luncheon honoring this year’s graduates was held Wednesday at the Bridgewater Club in Carmel, where the graduates were presented a certificate and a special stethoscope to commemorate the achievement. The speaker was Sheila Guenin, vice president of long-term care for the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County.
Other graduates are Yohan Song, a registered nurse at American Village; Penny Warner, a licensed practical nurse at Monticello Healthcare; Kyanna Wilkerson, who will take the state exam to become a licensed practical nurse at Riverview Village; Katherine Brown, a licensed practical nurse at Riverwalk Village; Savannah McCracken, a licensed practical nurse at Seymour Crossing; Celicia “Nikki” Osborne, who will take the state exam to become a registered nurse at Washington Healthcare Center, and Chris Taylor, a registered nurse at Zionsville Meadows.
With the shortage of nurses expected to intensify in coming years, ASC’s program is widely welcomed. “The core idea behind the O2NE program is to continually breathe new life into the healthcare industry and for it to benefit all Hoosiers, not just those in our care at ASC,” said Kelsey. “We hope to be sending more graduates into the field for many years to come.”
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.