Windemere LPN Training Program funded by grant deepening the tradition of islanders caring for islanders
Licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, are "the backbone of nursing homes, here and everywhere," says Ken Chisholm, administrator of Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. But there's a serious regional shortage of LPNs, and it's so critical on the Island that Windemere has resorted to importing so-called "travelers" - nurses from all over the country who sign on for 13-week stints - at great expense.
Now 10 employees of the Windemere Nursing Home are in training to become LPNs in a program funded by a $105,000 grant from the state. Windemere will also provide paid time off while these employees spend 10 months studying toward their LPN exams next summer.
It's a program that benefits everyone involved.
For members of the Windemere staff, it's a chance to get professional training that is ordinarily unavailable on the Island, and advance their careers. For the employer, it's a chance to build a staff that's not only skilled, but local, and to save some of the $600,000 per year that the Hospital and Windemere have been spending on housing for imported personnel. And for Windemere as a community service, it means deepening the tradition of Islanders caring for Islanders that's makes the nursing home such a special place.
Says Mr. Chisholm, "We have a two-year promise from these employees to stay with us once they've passed their LPN exams. We're looking for a long-term relationship, and we expect that most of these will be with us long-term, taking care of our residents at Windemere."