Ochsner Pins First Practical Nursing Apprenticeship Class In State

Ceremony symbolizes official entry into nursing profession for 12 new LPNs

Ochsner Pins First Practical Nursing Apprenticeship Class In State

Ochsner Health System has partnered with the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) and Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC) on a new Registered Apprenticeship program to prepare individuals with healthcare backgrounds for careers as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). The first class was recently honored during a Pinning Ceremony at Ochsner Health Center-Covington.

"Ochsner is proud to honor this tradition and share in this momentous occasion with our students and their families in their journey to becoming a nurse," said Dr. Missy Sparks, Ochsner vice president talent management-workforce development. “Education has always been a cornerstone of Ochsner, and we are proud to offer this program that provides students with a unique opportunity as they advance their careers from Medical Assistants (MA) to LPNs.”

The Ochsner LPN Registered Apprenticeship Program is an outcome of a 2016 federal grant awarded to the LWC to increase the state’s number of Registered Apprenticeship programs. The grant was developed as a direct response to the need for LPNs at Ochsner and throughout the healthcare care industry.

“Our partnership with Ochsner has made significant strides toward diversifying career pathways in Louisiana, and the cultivation of this LPN apprenticeship is no exception,” said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “It speaks to the desire of many healthcare professionals to advance their careers and provides an effective avenue to achieve that goal. We look forward to witnessing the countless success stories that this program will undoubtedly generate.”

The inaugural class completed the program with 100 percent of the students passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for practical nurses. Each graduate is employed by Ochsner in hospitals and clinical facilities across the system.

“Under the direction of our Governor John Bel Edwards, it is the LWC’s mission to put people to work,” Dejoie said. “Thus, we continuously strive to create meaningful and successful pathways for Louisianans to utilize in their career journeys. The LWC is proud to have been able to foster partnerships, which undoubtedly benefit many residents of our great state.”

The pilot LPN apprenticeship is accredited by the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners. This 12-month program offered through NTCC features classroom and clinical components. Upon completion, graduates earn a technical diploma in practical nursing.

“This MA to LPN program has given NTCC the opportunity to design and provide a non-traditional accelerated program for this unique population,” said Lori Sterling, BSN, RN, lead instructor of health sciences nursing, NTCC-Hammond Campus. “Aligning with our mission, we were able to work closely with Ochsner to accommodate and meet the needs of our community, industry and the individual students for quality workforce training.”

For more information about the Ochsner LPN Registered Apprenticeship Program, visit www.ochsner.org/careers.

CUTLINE W/PHOTO: The first Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Registered Apprenticeship Program in Louisiana was recently honored during a ceremony that included the official nurses pinning, Nightingale pledge, lighting of the lamps and presentation of roses. Pictured, first row left to right are: Nute Meeker, practical nursing instructor; Lorien Sterling, lead instructor of health sciences nursing, and Contessa Richard, practical nursing instructor, all with Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC); Shelita Domino, program manager, Ochsner Workforce Development; Jyra Smith of New Orleans; Jessica Lewis of Covington; Sarah Whalen of New Orleans; Carolina Puig of Mandeville; Karla Parr of Metairie; Amanda Gaspard of Kenner; Shana Cordier of New Orleans; Tracey Schiro, senior vice president of risk management & chief human resources officer; Shannon Joseph, director of workforce development; Dr. Missy Sparks, vice president talent management-workforce development, and Adriana Kriesen, assistant vice president human resources, Northshore, all with Ochsner. Back row left to right are: Tracey Moffatt, Ochsner chief nursing officer & vice president of quality; Joseph Hollins, director of registered apprenticeship, Louisiana Workforce Commission; Nicholas Russell of Covington; Katrice Smith and Kari Raynes, both of Slidell; Zajona Hernandez of Harvey; and Catherine Ganger of Slidell.


Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 100 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 70 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.

Northshore Technical Community College is committed to providing quality workforce training and transfer opportunities by awarding associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates to students seeking a competitive edge in today’s global economy. For more information, please visit northshorecollege.edu.

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