CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Lejeune High School and the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune established a partnership in 2010, which has allowed LHS students who take the nurse aide training program to participate in hands-on nurse aide training at NMCCL on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
The nurse aide training program is offered as a high school class, but provides students with the knowledge needed to complete national tests and receive their nurse’s aide certification through the state of North Carolina. Angelia J. Washington, a registered nurse who is a teacher at LHS, is the creator of this program.
“In 2010, I started the health sciences program here at Camp Lejeune to be able to meet the educational needs of students who were interested in careers within the health care industry,” said Washington. “When the program began, we were the first Department of Defense Education Activity high school and to this day we still remain the only DODEA high school, in the United States to offer this program.”
Along with the hands-on training at NMCCL to become nurse aides, students were also able to get certified in other areas as well.
“Not only do they receive the nurse aide certification from North Carolina,” said Washington. “The students also have to be certified in first aid, CPR and AED, so they receive that certification as well through the nurse aide program.”
This year 100 percent of Washington’s students passed the written exam and 89 percent passed the skills exam.
“Passing my exams was a severe weight off my shoulders,” said Malik Francis, student in the nurse aide program at LHS on Camp Lejeune. “It was such a big deal for me because the test itself was no joke. This is actually the first test that I’ve ever stressed over. I had tears, but I passed and knowing that I am one step ahead of the other competition is phenomenal and I am so grateful that I had this opportunity.”
When the nurse aide program was developed, it was and still remains the only program offered through a high school to students in the United States. Many parents feel lucky that their child was afforded this opportunity.
“We were excited to learn of the option when we transferred to Camp Lejeune two years ago,” said Kerry-Ann Francis, parent of a LHS student. “I feel that allowing students this opportunity to immerse themselves in this health program and other entry level programs, arms them with the confidence needed to succeed beyond high school. I feel extremely lucky [my child] had this chance.”