You’ll never again be as young as you were when you started reading this sentence.
It’s the one thing we all have in common: aging. According to the California Department of Aging, “By 2030, 10.8 million Californians will be an older adult, making up one-quarter of the state’s population.” This means that the need—and opportunity—for entry-level healthcare workers is greater than ever, and that’s why California created the Master Plan for Aging. The plan has five major goals, including one target to create 1 million high-quality caregiving jobs. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a nurse, home health aide, occupational therapist, or another entry-level healthcare position, now is the time!
- have your education paid for,
- start in healthcare to grow your career, and
- get support from career counseling and placement programs.
Have Your Education Paid For
If you want to be a nurse but education is cost prohibitive, know that there are lots of resources to help. First, California law requires employers to reimburse you for required training if you’re applying for a direct patient care position or at general acute care hospitals. Second, nursing students can often get loan forgiveness that other students can’t get.
Additionally, some skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities will reimburse your nursing school tuition while you work as a CNA for them. For example, Generations Healthcare’s Gramercy Court in Sacramento will reimburse $2,000 of your tuition as you work for them as a CNA.
There are so many financial resources to help you become an entry-level healthcare worker. Don’t let the cost keep you from pursuing a fulfilling career in healthcare!
Start in Healthcare to Grow Your Career
What’s the difference between different entry-level jobs that pay the same? Well, if you work in a warehouse, on an assembly line, or in fast food, say, you likely won’t be able to apply that experience to a long-term career.
But if you start as a CNA, you can rise through the ranks to LPN, RN, APRN, and beyond. Every step builds upon the previous one, so you can always feel confident that you are bettering yourself and making a positive impact. And if you decide to become a long-term RN (which typically takes three years), you can expect your salary to start somewhere between $56K and $89K per year, with the potential to make more as you gain experience.
Look for CNA training programs that put you in close contact with employers. This local 12-week program, for example, offers job placement assistance and has a graduate placement rate of 94%, and there is no cost for income-qualifying applicants.
Get Support from Career Counseling and Placement Programs
Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you think about the 45 or so years that you will be in the workforce? There’s a lot of pressure to make the right decision now so that you can navigate the changes and challenges that everyone faces along their career path.
The good news is that you don’t have to make these decisions alone. There are career counseling resources available to help you successfully transition to higher education and develop the career self-management skills you need for life-long career success.
- At California CareerZone, you can take an assessment to see the best options for you, make a budget so your choices will support your plan, do some research into your options, and keep track of your career plan.
- CareerOneStop is a repository of resources for career exploration, training, job searching, and local resources. You can see resources specific to your stage in life so you can get tailored advice.
- Facebook groups like CA Pre-Nursing & Nursing Students can be a great place to bounce ideas off of your peers and learn from their experiences.
The need for healthcare workers is greater than ever, and California aims to increase opportunities by creating 1 million caregiving jobs. Training is convenient, and many healthcare facilities will pay for it. There are so many resources available to help. Check out the resources in this article or find job openings near you to take the first step toward a fulfilling long-term career you’ll love!
Visit Generations Healthcare at lifegen.net/career-hiring for more information.
If you’re interested in getting started, follow these links to get trained and become a more confident healthcare worker and a more attractive job candidate:
- Basic caregiving: Caregiverlist Basic Training for Caregivers and Care Core Certification by Relias Academy
- CNA: Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training
- Home health aide: Homecare University
- First aid and emergency care: First aid, CPR, Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and Basic Life Support by the Red Cross and EMS Safety Services
- Palliative and end-of-life care: Being with Dying: Compassion and Presence and Care of the Actively Dying at Time of Death and After Death by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
- Specific conditions and needs: Dementia Care Certification and Parkinson’s by Relias Academy
The California Department of Public Health has further requirements for certain jobs (like to get your CNA license), but online certifications can be a quick and easy place to start.