For Emma, a certified nursing assistant and trained medical assistant at Perham Living, the decision to continue her education with a full scholarship and become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) was an easy one.
Perham Living awarded Emma the scholarship under Minnesota Long Term Care Nursing Facility Scholarship Program. This program is aimed at enhancing the long-term care workforce by providing nursing facilities a tool to assist with the recruitment, retention and education of senior care professionals.
Perham Living was able to award Emma her scholarship, thanks to changes made by the senior care reform legislation approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2015. Legislators knew this was necessary because senior care facilities were facing an overwhelming shortage in nursing staff. In 2014, nursing homes throughout the state needed to turn away more than 1,500 people because of staffing shortages.
Emma has worked at Perham Living for two years and loves her job, particularly interacting with residents. A large part of her workday involves caring for their needs in all kinds of ways.
“Working at Perham Living is a rewarding experience,” says Emma. “I really enjoy being the person to help residents have a better quality of life.”
Emma heard about the scholarship from her supervisor last fall. She always thought about returning to school, but having the opportunity for a full scholarship and knowing she’ll be free from student loan debt when she graduates, Emma knew she had to go.
It’s what Emma calls an “amazing opportunity.”
With the scholarship in hand, Emma visited Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s Detroit Lakes Campus and enrolled.
Emma is currently taking prerequisite courses and looks forward to starting the Practical Nursing Program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s Detroit Lakes Campus in the fall. While attending school, Emma will continue to care for residents at Perham Living.
“I love nursing and what I do,” says Emma. “I am very grateful to Perham Living for providing me with this scholarship.”
The senior care reform legislation was supported by lawmakers representing Perham, Rep. Bud Nornes and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen.