CMN to Prepare Students For Health Care Industry

May 15th, 2007 | By | Category: 18-4: Health and Healing, Tribal College News

The College of Menominee Nation (CMN, Keshena, WI) received a $2 million Community-Based Job Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Only 72 community college partnerships out of 429 proposed partnerships nationwide were awarded the Community-Based Job Training Grant that was first introduced in 2004 by President George W. Bush. CMN was the only tribal college to receive the grants, which were awarded last December.

“There is an increasing demand for community colleges to meet the educational challenges of the growing local health care industries,” said Dr. Verna Fowler (Menominee), president of CMN. “This grant will allow CMN to increase its ability to prepare students and workers to meet those educational demands.”

CMN’s project focuses on developing a bridge nursing program that allows students to earn credentials as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, and Associate Degree Registered Nurse. This new bridge program will allow students to work part-time in the health care field while attending school. This component is essential to CMN students who often must work while attending college.

Other project elements include developing Medical Assistant and Medical Coding Specialist Programs along with increased short-term trainings such as First Aid, Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and re-certifications. A youth component will introduce high school youth to various occupations in the health care industry. The tribal college also will create a “Learn and Earn” program focused on nursing for high school juniors and seniors.

This new program is expected to have a long-term significant impact on local Native healing and health. As 85% of CMN’s students are Native American, CMN anticipates nearly 85% of the nursing graduates will also be of Native American descent. This will significantly increase the number of Native American nurses in Wisconsin, the local region, and community.

Currently Native Americans are underrepresented in the health care workforce. The increased Native American workforce will increase the number of culturally competent nurses that understand diseases, such as diabetes, that plague Native communities. Culturally competent nurses will enhance the potential for increased personal satisfaction for Native American patients receiving the health care services, leading to a more favorable outcome in their healing and health.

For information, contact Jill Martin, sponsored programs director at CMN, at (715) 799-5600 or see the Department of Labor’s website,

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