|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2009
Nursing Career Ladder Program
Helps to Move Participants Out of Poverty
Successful Initiative Part of Center for Economic Opportunity
New York, NY — Michelle Perez, Deborah Fleming, and Alexis Roland, single mothers are fighting to get out of poverty for the betterment of their children. Perez, Fleming and Roland were among 39 New Yorkers who upon graduation will be guaranteed an LPN job at one of the city's public hospitals. All were joined by their families at the graduation ceremony and are available for photos and interviews. The graduation from the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO)/HHC Nursing Career Ladder program was held June 25 at the Mid-Manhattan Adult Learning Center, in Manhattan.
The program trains and certifies students as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) in less than one year. It not only responds to the nursing shortage, but it has also proved to be a promising anti-poverty initiative under CEO. When participants begin the career ladder program they are earning not more than 130 percent of the federal poverty line (less than $25,000 for a family of four), but as LPN's they earn $40,300 as starting salaries. The program graduates licensed practical nurses in 11 months, compared to the traditional programs that take two years, and offers intensive instruction, hands-on training, and personalized support to achieve very high retention and completion rates. Including these graduates, 78 participants have graduated from the training.
“I was a Medical Assistant unable to make ends meet before this opportunity came,” said Michelle Perez, 29. “I have three children and one has ADD. Not only did the teachers support me in reaching my goal of becoming an LPN, they helped me get the care and education my child needed. Before I got the phone call inviting me to apply, I had given up my dream of becoming a nurse.”
“I was a Correction Officer and going through a major burden but nursing was my passion. This is a blessing, a dream come true. My three children, one who suffers from asthma, are so proud of me, it's good for the whole family,” said Deborah Fleming, 29. “I am grateful every day for the supportive staff who taught me how to be a better person.”
“Before I joined the program I had a bunch of unprofitable jobs. I have four boys and getting my LPN guarantees them a better future. I always wanted to be in a medical field and becoming an RN is my main goal,” said Alexis Roland, 30.
The Nurse Career Ladder initiative, a collaboration with CEO, the NYC Office of Adult and Continuing Education and Coler-Goldwater, offers accelerated LPN training to 40 low income New Yorkers annually.
"It's a great program and we want to get the word out to more New Yorkers who could benefit from it," said La'Shawn Williams, Program Director for HHC. New Yorkers who want to know more about the nursing program and are interested in applying can call 212-442-3768 or 311 for more information.
About the Center for Economic Opportunity
The Center for Economic Opportunity was established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006 to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City. Led by Executive Director Veronica White, the CEO works with City agencies to design and implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at poverty reduction. The CEO manages an Innovation Fund through which it provides City agencies annual funding to implement such initiatives and will oversee a rigorous evaluation of each to determine which are successful in demonstrating results towards reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency among New Yorkers.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country, is a $5.4 billion public benefit corporation that serves 1.3 million New Yorkers and nearly 400,000 who are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 80 community based health centers. For more information about HHC, visit nyc.gov/hhc.