When members of the AFSCME RN bargaining unit at Northern Inyo Healthcare District heard that LVN students were being hit with an unexpected financial charge in order to begin their Clinical Training at Bishop Care Center and Northern Inyo Hospital, they spontaneously started a collection to help out.
In order to begin the clinical portion of their training, the twelveCerro Coso College LVN students are required to have a drug screen, the cost of which presented a hardship for some of the students. LVN instructor and NIH Union Bargaining Team member Welvaart explained, “Some of the students are parents, trying to work and go to school at the same time, and money is tight.” The students pay around $600 for textbooks, plus the expense of tuition, uniforms, vaccinations, physicals, and other supplies.
Vickie LaBraque, a Registered Operating Room Nurse who graduated from the LVN program, recalls the hardship she endured during her own training. “I moved to Bishop and lived in an old 14 foot trailer behind JC Penney’s… I lived on powdered milk and grilled cheese sandwiches for most of my program. I worked nights as a caregiver for $20 dollars a night, 5 nights a week. An unexpected expense like this would have been devastating.”
The Registered Nurses were enthusiastic about helping the students because, as Chris Hanley said, “we need to support the nurses coming along behind us. Many of the LVN students will work as LVNs to help pay for their education to become RNs. This is a commitment and sacrifice on their part to better their future, and in the long run, it will better our community’s future to have good nurses.”
The following is a comment from the Northern Inyo Healthcare District, Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, the Chief Executive Officer of NIHD:
“Northern Inyo Healthcare District is very proud of its staff. Our Mission is ‘Improving our communities one life at a time. One Team, One Goal, Your Health.’ This Mission not only applies to the patients we serve but to the members of our communities and to those people who will one day work here. We are very pleased and proud of those staff who are willing to not only take the time to teach tomorrow’s nurses but are willing to invest personally in their future.
“I cannot think of a better team I would want to work with than the staff here at NIHD who are willing to commit to tomorrow’s caregivers.”