NISKAYUNA — A Niskayuna nursing home is addressing a widespread staffing shortage by training its own certified nursing assistants.
Pathways Nursing and Rehabilitation Center graduated its first class of seven on Thursday, and plans to recruit students for its next class in early 2019.
Pathways, located at 1805 Providence Ave., currently has 112 residents and 161 full- and part-time staff members in caregiver roles, plus additional support staff.
Certified nursing assistants are heavily involved in the care of residents but their training isn’t as extensive as licensed practical nurses or registered nurses. LPNs and RNs are licensed by the state, CNAs are certified.
Future CNAs typically get training at no cost through a public vocational education program such as BOCES or pay for it at a community college. Pathways is one of the few facilities that does its own training. It gained state Department of Health accreditation to do so.
The group that graduated Thursday began training this past summer and had the chance to earn a paycheck while learning. Pathways also partners with area colleges to help its employees continue their education to become LPNs and RNs, if they want to do this.