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Join the Health Care Field As a Nursing Assistant

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When Brittney Beggs of Albany was in the hospital having twins, she felt greatly supported by the certified nursing assistants (CNA) and registered nurses who cared for her. That care inspired Beggs into a new career.

“They were so amazing during the process, I knew that’s what I wanted to do, to help others feel what they had made me feel,” she said.

Now a CNA at Samaritan Albany General Hospital, Beggs provides that same quality care for others.

“I feel like my whole job is rewarding,” she said. “I get to meet so many people from different backgrounds and hear their life stories. It’s great.”

Samaritan employs more than 350 CNAs. Because they serve in most patient care areas of the hospital, CNAs are in high-demand at each of Samaritan’s five hospitals.

“A CNA is such a critical position in the health care team, and because it is often a person’s first step into a nursing career, we hire a lot of them,” said Amanda Morris, employment director with Samaritan Recruiting. “Many people become a CNA while working on their nursing degree or while deciding which area of the medical field interests them most, but we also have many who see this as a rewarding long-term career because they can make a difference in people’s lives.”

Beggs recognizes that her work matters.

“The feeling of helping people is amazing,” she said. “Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way, but holding a hand, offering words of kindness, sharing laughter — it makes a difference in the long run. You never know the impact you make on a person.”

Training programs can be found at community colleges and training centers throughout the region and are typically six-to-12 weeks long. While many hospital positions require a CNA2, Samaritan will hire CNA1 staff and provide training to obtain the CNA2 certification.

“A CNA works closely with the patient and their families, so compassion and a customer-focus are critical qualities, as are the ability to work well with others on a team,” she said.

To explore CNA career opportunities at Samaritan, go to samhealth.org/Careers. Along with on-the-job training, Samaritan offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits.