FRANKFORT -- Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC) Secretary Derrick Ramsey and Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) Commissioner Ben Adams recently signed an agreement to create a nurse assistant state registered apprenticeship program within long-term care facilities dedicated to providing healthcare services to veterans.

Nurse Assistant State Registered (NASR) are nursing aides who care for ill, injured and/or disabled resident veterans within the state's long-term healthcare facilities. NASR apprentices will receive first-hand on-the-job training relating to observing patients' mental, physical and emotional conditions, taking temperatures, pulse and respiration as well as assisting veteran patients with everyday tasks such as eating, dressing and bathing.

"Apprentices will benefit both veterans and the community by establishing relationships with young people interested in health care, building their career paths and ensuring the best care for our veterans," Commissioner Adams said.

Apprenticeship is a proven strategy for recruiting, training and retaining employees. The apprenticeship model provides the ideal solution for employers to fill career pipelines with highly skilled, diverse and productive workers. Currently, there are more than 3,800 apprentices in Kentucky's 270 apprenticeship programs.

"With over 300,000 veterans in Kentucky, we must ensure that veterans in need of long-term healthcare and treatment receive the best care possible," said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey. "By integrating the apprenticeship model into Kentucky's veterans affairs program, we are developing a direct pipeline for recruiting highly trained nursing staff to provide direct healthcare services to veterans in state facilities."

KDVA's apprentices provide enhanced quality of care for veterans at the state's long-term veteran care facilities as well as expand KDVA's ability to grow facility admissions as result of increased availability of highly trained nursing assistant staff. The program will also be offered to high school students creating a direct career pathway to employment consisting of instruction, mentoring and eligibility standards.

The NASR apprenticeship program will begin in fall 2019 at the Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center in Radcliff, Kentucky.

Following implementation, KDVA will expand the apprenticeship program to additional veteran centers in Hanson, Wilmore and Hazard.

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