Career Development Program
The HSL Career Development Program (CDP) began with the vision of a generous donor. The vision combined addressing the shortage of skilled geriatric nurses with the Jewish values of providing ongoing opportunities for learning, and chesed, a Hebrew word that simply means kindness. In this spirit, CDP strives to create positive caring connections between staff, residents and families in an atmosphere of respect and honor.

The Career Development Program began in 2006 as a comprehensive educational program to increase staff recruitment and retention, and provide a career ladder for certified nursing assistants to become LPNs.  Interest in the program was so widespread and enthusiastic that the program expanded throughout HRC in 2007. Tammy Retalic, M.S.N., R.N., director of Professional Development, says that CNAs face many obstacles to higher education, including family and childcare responsibilities, finances, inadequate academic preparation, language, and transportation. She says that 80 percent of the 95 motivated employees who have participated in the CDP are foreign born, and welcomed required remedial classes in language, reading, math and other basic skills. The keys to the success of the program are recognizing the barriers to learning, and having the financial backing from donors that permits the development of responsive and innovative approaches to eliminating these barriers. Each applicant starts with an academic assessment and identifies goals for him/herself. HSL pays for all coursework and books and has invested in software to build reading and math skills. In addition, HSL compensates students for much of the time spent in classes, which are offered onsite.

The first class of Licensed Nures Practioners graduated in fall of 2008.

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