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Bay Bluffs NCMC Partnership Aims to Fill the Healthcare Staffing Gap

baybluffs_NDI2306_HIRES_KRP_1437_1600px Bay Bluffs and NCMC Collaboration Launches First CNA Fast Track Course This October. Pictured left to right: Lisa Ashley, MSW, LNHA, Bay Bluffs Administrator; Christy Lyons, NCMC Dean of Corporate and Community Education: Sonja Bosley, RN,NHA, Bay Bluffs Director of Nursing; Karrie Pater, Bay Bluffs Nurse and CNA Instructor
Across the region and country, medical facilities are experiencing worker shortages in alarming numbers. Beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic, these staffing shortages affected resident capacity in long-term nursing care facilities. Today, many facilities struggle to meet their worker shortages while maintaining existing quality healthcare procedures and protocols.

Bay Bluffs: The Care Model that Works

"We do not compromise on quality of care," expresses Lisa Ashley, MSW, LNHA, Bay Bluffs Administrator. "Our determination and compassion for our residents led to our successful journey through the COVID-19 pandemic — one that most nursing homes were not fortunate enough to experience — all while maintaining quality standards at or above state and national metrics."

In an industry which currently averages a turnover rate of 52% among both nursing staff and administrators, Bay Bluffs is in an enviable position. "We've maintained an 80% retention rate," explains Jessica Berg, Bay Bluffs Human Resources Director. This retention rate is indicative of the overall satisfaction of both long-term employees and newer hires. Still, to maintain the ideal resident-to-staff ratios, Bay Bluffs must hold some vacancies while it works diligently to fill staff positions with qualified applicants.

"We are more than thrilled about the NCMC partnership. It is an enormous step in building workforce capacity."

Lisa Ashley, MSW, LNHA, Bay Bluffs Administrator

Partnership Yields Strength in Numbers

To meet the growing demand for long-term nursing care in the region, Bay Bluffs — Emmet County Medical Facility has partnered with North Central Michigan College (NCMC), long known for the quality of its nursing program, to focus on certifying new colleagues and increasing the pool of available recruits. The NCMC/Bay Bluffs collaboration includes a number of certified and licensed healthcare programs, including those available through its Fast Track accelerated courses. "We are more than thrilled about the NCMC partnership," says Ashley. "It is an enormous step in building workforce capacity."

CNA: The Career Choice with Options

This October, NCMC introduces its first CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) training program, a two-week course taught by certified nursing colleagues from Bay Bluffs. Divided into three segments, the course requires 34 hours of classroom learning, 16.5 hours of skill practice time in the laboratory, and 24.5 hours of supervised clinical practice at Bay Bluffs.

With generous tuition reimbursement and attractive employment incentives, Bay Bluffs aims to attract course attendees to join their staffing team. "Bay Bluffs compensated me for my CNA training," shares Missy Hoffman, CNA. "Bay Bluffs has been very supportive and flexible, and I enjoy being part of their team." 

The CNA role "can be whatever you are looking for," explains Berg. "It can be a career, long-term and satisfying and financially rewarding, or it can be a stepping stone to other positions in health care: registered nurse, licensed practical nurse and beyond."

A Day in the Life: Bay Bluffs Certified Nurse Assistant

A CNA has a long list of duties, but taken all together, they add up to a very rewarding skill set, some of which applicants already have: altruism, compassion, social skills, and problem solving. Think of it this way: It's like taking care of a beloved family member, one who needs help throughout the day. CNAs provide the hands-on care that many with varying degrees of mobility require: grooming and bathing, and moving from place to place, for example. Additionally, the CNA becomes the bond that we all require for true physical, mental and emotional health. In other words, CNA professionals help smooth the way for residents as they go about their daily routines.

Opportunity Calls: Start Your New Career Today

"Of course, our priority is workforce capacity building within our own facility," adds Ashley. "However, our long-term efforts and partnership with NCMC will also help to address the overwhelming shortage of healthcare workers across our region. It's a win-win for the entire system!"

The course runs October 16 – 27, 2023. Those interested can register online at https://www.ncmclifelonglearning.com/event-5367852. For employment questions and tuition reimbursement details, contact Jessica Berg (231-526-4406 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


About Bay Bluffs

Bay Bluffs is a medical facility, but also a home which goes beyond the medical care model to embrace the resident as an individual with interests and talents, preferences and needs.

Bay Bluffs is a community-based, long-term care facility with over five decades of service to the region.

Learn MORE & Find Your Next Career.

NCMC Fast Track Course

October 16 – 27, 2023

Register ONLINE.

Meet Your Future Team Members

Learn about recent CNA achievements and career opportunities at Bay Bluffs.

READ ON.

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