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Concordia Private Care: A Stepping Stone to a Nursing Career

June 22, 2021

The second principle of Concordia Lutheran Ministries’ Statement of Values is to strive to hire and train an excellent group of employees while valuing their needs, opinions and family responsibilities. Guided by this commitment to our staff, one of the of cornerstones of Concordia’s employee-centric benefits package is education assistance through several prepaid and reimbursement tuition programs.

Concordia offers a variety of careers throughout our continuum for interested students to take full advantage of these benefits. For those looking to begin a career in nursing, Concordia at Cabot, Concordia at the Orchard and Concordia at Rebecca Residence represent a few of the facility-based locations near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who provide pre-nursing opportunities in a brick-and-mortar environment, and Concordia Private Care offers non-medical personal care positions in the home setting throughout nine counties in western Pennsylvania.

Concordia Private Care Provides Practical Introduction to Healthcare

The genesis of Concordia’s home and community based services began with ConcordiaCare, a private duty agency founded in 1997 that provides in-home care to seniors and individuals with a compromised health condition who benefit from assistance with activities of daily life. Fast forward 24 years, the agency is now called Concordia Private Care and offers the same compassionate services – the only difference is the agency’s growth and its ability to reach even more clients living throughout western Pennsylvania.

Concordia Private Care employs non-medical personal care aides who assist clients with an array of daily activities including, but not limited to, personal care and hygiene, light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, companionship, medication reminding and transportation to medical appointments. Personal care aides receive hands-on and simulated training during their on-boarding period, are certified in CPR and first aid and complete monthly trainings and annual competencies to ensure they are equipped to provide the best care to their clients.

For many personal care aides, the experience provided by their work with Concordia Private Care has been the launching pad for professional growth and a future nursing career. While assisting clients with their daily needs, personal care aides begin to learn and live the essential components of nursing – compassion, patience and earning trust through relationship building. The connections personal care aides make with their clients are often lifelong - they become part of their family - and this foundation often provides inspiration to pursue a career in nursing.

Misty Ingram, who became the Chief Operating Officer for Concordia’s home and community services in May 2019, began her Concordia career as an aide in 2003. During her tenure at Concordia, she has continued her academic nursing pursuits by utilizing the organization’s education assistance programs and is currently enrolled in California University of Pennsylvania’s MSN-MBA program.

She and many of her team members who have shared similar career paths often credit their experience as an aide as an integral step towards a nursing career due to the insight and perspectives they gleaned from the role.

Related: My Concordia Career: Misty Ingram’s Story

Concordia’s Latest Tuition Assistance Program Partner to Soon Include LPN Program

In 2020, Concordia Lutheran Ministries and Butler County Community College (BC3) partnered to establish a program that provides nursing students with a debt-free education and a rewarding career upon graduation. Billed as “Your Dream For Free,” the program is open to current and future employees of Concordia and provides eligible students the opportunity to achieve a debt-free registered nursing degree.

The college will soon announce the official launch date of their new LPN program that will provide additional opportunities to community members seeking nursing careers. These opportunities include a faster track to graduation and a differently structured curriculum that will give students more flexibility with their work schedule, should they choose employment with Concordia while in school.

The news of the upcoming BC3 LPN program has excited many current employees and community members who have attended informational sessions held on the Concordia at Cabot campus presented by leadership at BC3. Additionally, current LPNs and future students who enroll in BC3’s LPN program who wish to continue on with a RN degree will have advanced standing applicant consideration, meaning they will be given priority consideration on acceptance into the RN program.

Related: Concordia’s BC3 Tuition Assistance Program FAQs

How Concordia Private Care Provides Career Opportunities for Enrolled Students

Like many of Concordia’s facility-based and home and community service lines, Concordia Private Care operates 24/7 to accommodate their client’s needs. The care plans for private care clients range from two hour to eight hour visits a day to overnight shifts - all with different weekly frequencies of visits. The versatility of the available shifts lends to a work-life balance for employees and also provides employees who are nursing students with the flexibility they need to earn practical hands-on experience while also having an adequate amount of time to devote to their coursework and attend classes.

Employees who are enrolled in Concordia’s BC3 Tuition Assistance Program work with their managers to create schedules that best fit their needs. Additionally, seasoned Concordia nurses are on-hand to provide tutoring and mentorship to foster the talents of our employees and support them while they earn their nursing degree.

For more information on Concordia’s BC3 Tuition Assistance Program, please email us at BC3NursingProgram@concordialm.org. You can also view current career opportunities at Concordia Private Care by visiting www.concordiacareers.org and selecting “Private Care.”

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