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Four times the typical number of nurses aides graduate from Pima Community College

Posted at 10:33 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 01:33:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz — With the nationwide shortage in the nursing field there's some optimism in Southern Arizona.

A big boost in the number of nursing assistants graduated from Pima Community College.

A typical graduating class of certified nurses assistants is only 10 people, this month it's 45, it's thanks to extra space on campus to take on more candidates during the summer.

"I just finished the nursing assistant program at Pima Community College so today's graduation," Priscilla Coronado said.

It's a field with a shortage of new graduates, but no shortage of something to do.

"You could go 12 hours without no break," explained Evelyn Garcia, who serves as a nurses aid on the Pascua Yaqui reservation.

"There was something to do every single second," added Fartun Mohamed, "there's constantly stuff to do."

Carol Williams, who teaches new nurses aides at Pima Community College says she tells new candidates the truth about their aspiring role.

"Lunch breaks are: no, bathroom breaks are very little."

Graduate Apollonia Chavez is following her sister into the field and she's already learning it's a numbers job.

"She'll say sometimes she has eight patients, sometimes it's like 12."

While the work is demanding because of the urgent need to fill positions recent graduate Chloe Keller says she, like the others, is eager to start.

"It's so rewarding, so it's kind of like it over powers how hard it is."

The need is so great in fact, most healthcare employers will hire anyone with training and even let them work while they achieve their certification.