Patient Care Technician/Assistant in board room

Case Study: A Better State

A Prescription for Healthcare Training in Tennessee (Rx-TN) makes healthcare training and certification available to unemployed and underemployed individuals. Multiple credentials from National Healthcareer Association (NHA) give graduates and employers confidence that skills and competencies are being met.

Tennessee Training and Certifications Bring New Economic Opportunities

It’s no secret that healthcare is fertile ground for future job growth. In fact, over the next ten years the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the healthcare industry will grow by 2.5 percent annually and will add as many as 5 million jobs.

The Tennessee Board of Regents, led by the development efforts of Roane State Community College, is preparing for this development. More importantly, they’re helping students and workers all over the state of Tennessee prepare for this market trend through the implementation of a progressive healthcare education and training program – A Prescription for Healthcare Training in Tennessee (Rx-TN.)

“NHA certification preparation is a good fit with our program because our hybrid training model is a mix of in-person instruction and online training. NHA’s online certification preparation materials, which include practice tests, are high quality. They are designed in a manner that is flexible and can be easily incorporated into our training model.” — Deb Miller Director of Grants Development

Greater Access to Healthcare Programs and Jobs

Rx-TN is designed to improve opportunities for Trade Act Adjustment (TAA)-eligible workers and others in healthcare related training while at the same time meet the needs of healthcare employers. TAA-workers are unemployed or underemployed individuals that have lost their jobs as a result of work going offshore.

Deb Miller is director of grants development at Roane State, and helped write the grant that secured the federally-funded $12.5 million program. The program covers an LPN to RN Bridge, as well as associate degrees in various allied health sciences. Non-credit healthcare training in EKG, Phlebotomy, and Patient Care is also included.

“People are looking for new employment opportunities, and there’s a big need among healthcare employers for high quality healthcare technicians,” said Miller. “We’re working to make connections between these groups that create long-term sustainable benefits for all involved.”

Northwest Primary Care is growing, with three new doctors just recently added. Nurses and medical assistants have been hired as well to support the new practitioners.

Validation of Skills and Job Readiness

An important component built into the Rx-TN program is the use of preparation materials and certification exams from The National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Certifications ensure competency, plus they are additional metrics for quality and program effectiveness. “NHA certifications tell an employer that a graduate is well-prepared and ready to do a good job,” said Miller. "The employee receives portable credentials that stand out on a resume and make them more likely to be hired.”

The Rx-TN program offers stacked certifications and credentialing by NHA including Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), Certified EKG Technician (CET) and Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A).

“NHA certification preparation is a good fit with our program because our hybrid training model is a mix of in-person instruction and online training,” said Miller. “NHA’s online certification preparation materials, which include practice tests, are high quality. They are designed in a manner that is flexible and can be easily incorporated into our training model.”

Expansion of Rx-TN to other Tennessee post-secondary education providers is already being discussed. Other technical and community colleges are watching the model closely. “We are proud of this program and the positive long-term economic effects it can bring to Tennessee,” said Miller. “We’re excited for the future."

Empowering Graduates and Employers