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Front Range Community College Innovative Apprenticeships

Updated: Feb 23

Nurses in training

Partnership Nurtures Columbine Health Systems Internal Growth

Taking a proactive approach to talent development, Columbine Health partnered with Front Range Community College (FRCC) Larimer County Campus, the leading institution providing medical education in Larimer County. This dynamic collaboration focuses on fostering internal growth by offering apprenticeships that empower their employees to ascend the healthcare career ladder.

Columbine Health's strong commitment to promoting from within aligns with FRCC's vision for apprenticeships, which becomes a powerful vehicle for career advancement, enabling employees to learn while they earn. At the same time, learners contribute to the organizations' goal of cultivating a skilled and dedicated workforce.

Certified Medication Aide Apprenticeship

FRCC's initiation of a Registered Apprenticeship program in 2022 for Certified Medication Aide is integral to this collaboration. This initiative was prompted by Columbine's need for training in this new role to upskill incumbent Certified Nursing Assistants. Leveraging US Department of Labor grant funds (COHELPS), FRCC successfully developed and received state approval for a Certified Medication Aide training program with the Colorado State Board of Nursing.

Columbine’s employees have utilized these programs at no cost and secured financial assistance through FRCC for other items such as transportation and childcare.

Apprenticeships, lasting from four to 18 months, boast an impressive 93% completion rate for FRCC's healthcare apprentices. This success is attributed to the immersive, hands-on learning experience within a mentorship framework at work, complemented by relevant in-class instruction. The apprenticeship model stands out as an effective alternative to traditional technical education programs.

Columbine Health Collaborates with Front Range Community College

Columbine Health's collaboration with FRCC extends to various clinical educational opportunities, with a strong focus on transitioning from Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to Certified Medication Aide (CMA). Plans are underway for a comprehensive CNA to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) apprenticeship, further solidifying the commitment to internal career growth.

Through these tailored apprenticeships, Columbine Health addresses workforce challenges and provides a clear pathway for career development within the organization. This innovative initiative transforms the lives of care attendants, offering them opportunities to embark on fulfilling careers and contribute significantly to the healthcare community.

Columbine Health Systems has been Northern Colorado's leader in compassionate senior care since 1971. It has evolved to include a full continuum of care services, including patio homes, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, therapy services, infusion therapy, home care, medical equipment, pharmacy, chaplains, and transportation.

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