Hospital, college join to offer healthcare apprenticeships

Published 10:22 am Thursday, August 18, 2022

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Davidson-Davie Community College has created the largest healthcare apprenticeship in North Carolina, with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist signing on as the college’s first healthcare partner under the new agreement.

Students will be able to work in a healthcare profession while taking courses related to their career goals.

The partnership will include medical assisting, medical laboratory technology, nursing, licensed practical nursing, pharmacy technology, central sterile processing, surgical technology, and nurse aide. The college will work with other healthcare partners to establish apprenticeships in health information technology, EMT and paramedic.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer our students – and future students – an incredible array of opportunities within the healthcare sector, through which they can pursue an educational pathway toward their chosen career while also having a stable income,” said Holly Myers, dean of health sciences at Davidson-Davie. “And not only that, but we are supporting the healthcare workforce and the communities in which we live by educating new professionals to fill much-needed jobs.”

This partnership builds off the success of the 2021 collaboration between Davidson-Davie and Wake Forest Baptist to launch the state’s first Registered Nurse apprenticeship program.

“As the region’s only academic learning health system, a large part of our mission is to help train the next generation of health care professionals,” said Kimberly Stanbery, DNP, chief nursing officer at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Davie Medical Center and Wake Forest Baptist’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We are so pleased to collaborate on such an important program and give people in our community the necessary education and skills to serve in a wide variety of health care roles.”

Davidson-Davie is one of 58 community colleges across North Carolina and worked through the statewide ApprenticeshipNC program to develop the new opportunities.

“The NC Community College System (NCCCS) is pleased to see Davidson-Davie Community College expand opportunities to the next generation of healthcare workers through Registered Apprenticeship Programs at Wake Forest Baptist,” said Dr. Bruce Mack, VP of economic development at NCCCS. “Combining the related classroom instruction with on-the-job learning benefits all parties and will help Wake Forest Baptist develop a well-qualified and experienced talent bank of much needed healthcare workers. ApprenticeshipNC is proud to be a part of this exceptional program.”

Although the number of spots available for apprentices is limited, there are plans to increase available spots over the next few years. To be eligible, students must be 18 years of age, pass a drug screen and background check, and meet all entry requirements for the educational program. Interested applicants should start by completing the college application process.

“This apprenticeship program is an excellent example of the novel and innovative strategies needed to begin the important work of rebuilding our workforce,” said Deb Harding, DNP, vice president and regional chief nurse executive at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. “Staffing shortages exist among all disciplines and ancillary support roles. This unique partnership not only offers structure that supports and grows the pipeline of health care learners but affords the unique opportunity to engage in new thoughts regarding models of care design and leverage the academic learning health system.”