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Pre-nursing class now offered in DL

There are several different reasons students might enroll in a free pre-nursing class, but for Amber Jacobsen, it was to get ready to come back to college.

After attending school, not doing great and deciding to come back after some time off, Jacobsen said she needed to get back into the swing of classes, studying and college life.

"I've worked in a nursing home for two years and I'm ready to take a step up," she said. "I learned a lot of good study skills (through the pre-nursing class)."

Jacobsen was a part of the pilot class in the spring of 2009. The pre-nursing class -- a joint effort between Adult Basic Education, Minnesota State Community and Technical College-Detroit Lakes and Rural Minnesota CEP -- helps students determine if a health care job is right for them, what skills they need to brush up on before entering college and giving them a little more of a foundation for the health care classes they'll be taking.

The class covers reading, writing, math, the healthcare team, basic nursing skills and study skills. Students are required to have their CNA license before attending the class. The same program offers a pre-CNA class as well, which begins this spring.

Moving from the pre-CNA class to getting a CNA, to taking the pre-nursing class to enrolling in a health care field in college, "each level is preparing for the next," ABE Director Kathy Simison said.

Through a grant from CEP, ABE instructor Amy Fish and M-State instructor Judy La Fleur, Kathleen Froelich and Cindy Moore designed the curriculum in the classes.

Jacobsen said she would "definitely" recommend the class for those even thinking about going into the health field.

"High school is totally different from college," she said. "The big thing for me is study skills."

She added that the class helped with test anxiety, and it was nice because the class was so small, students get more of a one-on-one time with the teachers.

"I'm glad I did it," she said.

Some of the students in the pilot class with Jacobsen ended up not finishing the class for several different reasons -- the workload was too much for one, the work was too difficult for one, and one decided the health field wasn't for her after all. Simison said those are success cases though too, proving that the class is serving its purpose of preparing students for a career in a health field.

"We'd rather have them find that out for free," she said.

"Especially if they aren't totally sure," Fish said of those that should take the class.

She said the instructors have tweaked the program a little since the pilot class, but not many changes have been made.

"It's so very worthwhile," Simison said. Even those who don't finish tell them "how glad they are they took the class before coming here."

The class isn't just for students interested in nursing either; it's for any health related field.

"I'm very proud to be a part of it," La Fleur said of the program. "It's fun."

To enter the pre-nursing class, students are required to have their CNA, their high school diploma or GED and work at a reading and math minimum.

Those interested in the pre-nursing class, which begins March 1, should call Adult Basic Education at 844-5760 or visit them in M-State in room E103. The class will be Monday and Thursday evenings from 5 to 9 in M-State through May 13. Deadline for registration is Feb. 22.

Those interested in the pre-CNA class can also call ABE to sign up.