Practical Nurse Apprenticeship Program for High Schoolers
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans high school students interested in nursing careers will soon have a free, three-year path to becoming Licensed Practical Nurses starting in 11th grade. The new pilot LPN apprenticeship program was developed by the New Orleans Career Center, Delgado Charity School of Nursing and Ochsner Health. Recruiting for a pilot cohort will begin in January for 20 seats.
“At NOCC, we prepare young people to be the city’s workforce of the future, to have the option and the training to enter satisfying, well-paid careers in high-demand sectors like healthcare,” said Claire Jecklin, the nonprofit’s CEO. “The collaboration with Delgado and Ochsner creates an efficient new route to financially sustaining careers without the crippling burden of student loan debt.”
High school students accepted into the pilot cohort will begin their 36-month training in the fall of 2023. Training will be conducted year-round at NOCC, Delgado and Ochsner. Funding comes from grants from the U.S. Department of Labor and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. Interested sophomores should speak to their high school guidance counselor or complete the pre-Nursing pathway interest form on the NOCC website. Although currently in the pilot stage, the partners expect to expand the program in the future.
“This new partnership between Delgado Charity School of Nursing, NOCC, and Ochsner Health is a fantastic opportunity for high school students to accelerate their career skills training in nursing so that they can become licensed, employed practical nurses as soon as possible after graduation from high school. Their educational and employment success as nurses will contribute to alleviating the shortage of trained healthcare professionals in our state. We are grateful to everyone involved in establishing this path-breaking opportunity,” said Cheryl Myers, PhD, Delgado vice chancellor for academic and student affairs.
Trainees will complete coursework and clinical requirements equivalent to any other state-approved LPN program. Delgado’s Practical Nursing Program prepares the student for a career as a licensed practical nurse. Practical nurses take care of patients including feeding, bathing and maintaining patient charts. They administer medication and monitor equipment. They also assess and monitor the health and illness of patients. Practical nurses are employed predominantly by physicians’ offices, home health agencies, nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. Clinical experience makes up more than 50 percent of the program hours. Students learn patient observation skills, treatments, and medications.