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WA Healthcare Worker Training Coalition:

Health Care Career Pathways from Long-Term to Acute Care

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Workforce Board) a $5 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to train 550 low-wage Washington Health care workers, helping move them into higher-paying, high-demand health care professions with established career pathways.

Staff Contact: Beth Meyer

Note: The grant ends on June 30, 2013. We are no longer enrolling participants. Those who are enrolled are finishing up training and getting the support they need to advance their health care careers.

What is the purpose of the grant?

There are three areas of emphasis:

  1. Advancing entry-level workers along the nursing pathway, beginning with Certified Nursing Assistants and Medical Assistants through Licensed Practical Nurses and, ultimately, reaching Registered Nurses. The grant promises to move hundreds of workers up this high-demand career ladder by recruiting, supporting and training them in a health care setting.
  2. Providing jobs in long-term care and creating career transitions to acute care by recruiting and training job seekers in the advanced home care aide apprenticeship, and providing a seamless pathway to acute, hospital health care.
  3. Expanding the state’s healthcare educational capacity through workplace learning opportunities, online classes and recruiting more clinical instructors.

Who benefits from this training?

The grant targets:

  • Low-wage hospital workers who have an interest in health care.
  • Long-term care workers who previously have had no pathway to enter higher level health care and hospital work.
  • Workers who have yet to be hired, but will fill slots as current workers are trained and reach higher levels in the health care career ladder.

This grant is administered by the state's Workforce Board in conjunction with:

  • SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund
  • SEIU Healthcare  NW Training Partnership
  • the Health Work Force Institute
  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Eastern WA Partnership Workforce Development Council (WDC)
  • Pacific Mountain WDC
  • WDC of Seattle-King County
  • Workforce Central (Pierce County)

The grant breaks new ground in pioneering career tracks that move low-wage health care workers into better paying, higher-demand professions. The labor/management education partnership overseeing the grant money is called the Washington Health Care Worker Training Coalition.

How is training delivered?

The training is delivered through a combination of online and workplace learning. The state's community and technical colleges have expanded the capacity of their health care programs to reach these new, first-rung workers.

  • The 19 community and technical colleges include: Bellingham, Bellevue, Clover Park, Edmonds, Everett, Grays Harbor, Highline, Lake Washington, Lower Columbia, North Seattle, Pierce, Renton, Seattle Central, Skagit Valley, Spokane, Tacoma, Walla Walla, Whatcom and Wenatchee Valley.
  • Two four-year universities (Washington State University and University of Washington) will provide training to master's level registered nurses interested in becoming instructors.
  • Workforce Development Councils (Eastern WA Partnership, Pacific Mountain, Seattle-King County, Spokane Area and WorkForce Central-Pierce) are involved in program coordination, recruitment, support services and/or placement.
  • Also, 26 hospitals, health systems and long-term care providers provide support for incumbent worker trainees, clinical rotations, recruitment, placement and retention. They include: Central WA, Group Health Cooperative, Highline, MultiCare, Northwest, Puget Sound Orthopedics, St. Francis of Bellingham, St. Joseph Medical Center, Swedish, Swedish-Edmonds, Valley Medical, Virginia Mason, Whidbey General Hospital and Clinics, Addus Healthcare, Ashley Gardens, Chesterfield, Eagle Healthcare, Inc., Fir Lane Health and Rehabilitation, FullLifeCare, Home Place, Korean Women's Association, Mira Vista, Pinewood Terrace, Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community and Where The Heart Is.

Health Work Force Institute (affiliate of the Washington State Hospital Assocation), SEIU Healthcare 1199 NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund, SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership, Bellingham Technical College, Eastern WA Partnership Workforce Development Council (WDC), Pacific Mountain WDC, WDC of Seattle-King County, and Workforce Central play an essential coordinating, supporting and training role.
More specifics on partners and their roles and responsibilities.

Graphic illustrating the Health Career Pathways from Long-Term to Acute Care

Specific Occupations to be Trained

Occupation Certification/Degree
HCA: Home Care Aide (entry-level), apprentice to certified Advanced Home Care Aides
Provides in-home long term care to seniors and others.
CNA: Certified Nursing Assistant
Assists patients with healthcare needs, activities of daily living, and basic bedside nursing.
MA: Medical Assistant
Performs the administrative and limited clinical tasks that keep the offices of licensed health practitioners running smoothly.
LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse
Peforms duties such as giving injections, taking vital signs, basic diagnostic tests, observing patients, dressing wounds, and administering medication.
RN-ADN: Registered Nurse with Associate's Degree in Nursing
Observes, assesses and records patient history and symptoms, establishes and implements care plans, advises and advocates for patients and families. Supervises LPNs, MAs and CNAs.
CNE: Certified Nurse Educator
Master's level registered nurses are trained to be educators.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Provides rehabilitative services to persons with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments.
Pharmacy Technician Helps prepare prescription medications, provide customer service and perform administrative duties within a pharmacy setting.
Radiologic Technician Performs diagnostic imaging examinations like X-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and mammography.
Respiratory Therapist Evaluates, treats and cares for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders.
Cardiovascular Technician Assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Uses special equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient's body.
Health Information Manager Plans, directs, coordinates, and supervises the delivery of health care.
Health Unit Coordinator Prepares special documents such as birth/death certificates maintaining patient charts and records, and coordinating patient activities for the unit.














Charissa Raynor, Executive Director of the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership

"We have large current and projected shortages of health care personnel in Washington state. This grant makes it possible for us to tailor our education programs in ways that better serve working adults and help them move into high demand positions."

Jaime Garcia, former Executive Director of the Health Work Force Institute (affiliate of the Washington State Hospital Association)

"Through creating new kinds of educational delivery at the workplace, this grant creates a practical and scalable career ladder for working adults seeking greater job security and better incomes. It is exciting to be building on our state’s innovative and successful Hospital Employee Education and Training program."

Diane Sosne, President of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW






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