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Memorial Hospital Launches Paid LNA Training Opportunity

October 27, 2022

Media Contacts:

Carrie Burkett
603-356-5461 ext. 2264
Carrie.Burkett@MaineHealth.org

Tim Kershner
603-356-5461 ext. 2198
Timothy.Kershner@MaineHealth.org

NORTH CONWAY, NH — Staffing shortages are affecting employers across the country. The Merriman House, a long term care facility at Memorial Hospital, is no exception and is implementing an “earn while you learn” training program to attract and retain staff.

Mary Chesley, Merriman House resident, reads the newspaper with activities coordinator Terese Billeaud, LNA (CARRIE BURKETT PHOTO)
The Merriman House is sponsoring a training program, beginning December 5, to train incoming and existing staff to become licensed nursing assistants (LNAs). The program pays for entry-level candidates to participate in the training, become certified, and get paid while completing the program. Participants are eligible for benefits including medical insurance, retirement and other benefits. Tuition and textbook expenses are covered.

“In a long term care facility, staff turnover and vacant job openings can be challenging,” says Kimberly Demers RN NHA, Merriman House Administrator. “Positive relationships are important for residents to develop a sense of trust, improve their quality of life, and enhance communication and safety. I look forward to filling these positions and improving our staff retention so we can further improve the experience of our Merriman House residents.”

“We have been working closely with the Merriman House to ensure they have appropriate staffing,” says Sue Edminster, Human Resources Director at Memorial Hospital. “We have had traveling LNA’s assist in the past when positions stay open, but they’re an expensive, short term solution.”

“Memorial Hospital and MaineHealth are committed to creating opportunities for employment and growth in our community,” says Beth Carpenter, Senior Recruiter at Memorial Hospital. “We are looking to attract more applicants into health care in entry level positions and help them develop their careers in nursing or other areas. This LNA training program is a great launching point to start a meaningful career in health care and another way we can serve the community.”

Demers is looking forward to hiring staff with longevity. “We are committed to keeping our facility staffed to ensure our residents continue to have excellent care. I am eager to welcome new, local team members who can launch their careers in health care with us and build their skills and experience.”

Merriman House resident Elizabeth George-Hussey plays a dice game with activities coordinator Deb Covill, LNA (CARRIE BURKETT PHOTO)
The LNA training program will be facilitated by LNA Health Careers of New Hampshire onsite at The Merriman House. LNA Health Careers is approved by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing and licensed through the state Department of Education. The program prepares students to sit for the LNA state certification exam. The program is a total of 110 hours including theory, lab and clinical portions.

The LNA training program will allow candidates who do not yet hold required credentials to be hired for vacant LNA positions. Candidates will be hired as personal care assistants (PCAs), paid during their time in the training program, and promoted to LNA upon completion of the course and passing the exam.

Kerri Dutton, owner of LNA Health Careers, explains how the program will have both immediate and lasting impacts on the quality of care provided for Merriman House residents. “The presence of students in a nursing home immediately improves the quality of life for residents. Residents love meeting new people and engaging in conversation. Students have the ability to spend more one-on-one time with residents and both really enjoy this. Students who are welcomed into a facility for training feel supported. This often leads to students making a real commitment to the facility after graduation.”

The Merriman House will serve as the classroom for the training program. While some participants in the LNA program will be hired by Memorial Hospital in advance of completing the program, vacant spots are open to anyone interested in taking the class and covering the tuition on their own or by their employer. It can sometimes be challenging to find local LNA training sessions that do not require long commutes, so this opportunity can benefit other local health care organizations.

Art Mathisen, Memorial Hospital President, applauds the creativity and collaboration of the human resources and Merriman House teams. “Investing in our local health care work force is time and money well spent. If we can help launch someone’s career and foster a passion for health care, we can further strengthen our community of health care professionals. This translates into excellent care for our community.”

Tina Chute, LNA, and Merriman House Resident Warren Nickerson chat in the Merriman House dining room (CARRIE BURKETT PHOTO)
The LNA training program is paid for in part by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Memorial Hospital received a $15,200 grant for LNA and medication nursing assistant (MNA) trainings made possible by gifts from the Richard A. and Beverly G. Ware Fund.

The LNA training program at Memorial Hospital begins December 5 at the Merriman House. MNA training will be scheduled later in the spring.

For more information about the training program, or applying for an entry level position, contact Beth Carpenter at beth.carpenter@mainehealth.org or 603-356-4939 or visit Careersatmainehealth.org to submit an application.

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About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, visit www.memorialhospitalnh.org  or call 603-356-5461.

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