New MMI program trains CNAs as respite providers

October 15, 2018

Image with file name: Respite2.jpg

The Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) has created a Respite Service Learning Program that recently graduated its first class - four certified nursing assistant (CNA) students from Clarkson College. The program may soon expand to other institutions and areas of the medical center.

The program gives selected students the opportunity to work directly with children/adults with disabilities through MMI's Department of Recreational Therapy and in a designated home setting.

Through the recreational therapy program, students receive 12 hours of mentorship from MMI staff on disability etiquette and obtain hands-on experience working with children/adults with special needs. In the family home, students experienced eight hours of learning how the family has adapted their home, schedule, and provided accommodations to support the needs of their family member.

After completion of the orientation and 20 hours of service learning, students earn a Certificate of Achievement in Direct Care with Specialization in Home-Based Respite from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Lifespan Respite Network and MMI. Additionally, interested students may register to become a paid respite provider.

"The program allows students to see firsthand what respite care is and understand how much of an impact they can make, now and in the future, in the lives of families who need it most," said Amberly Wagner-Connolly, director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and assistant professor, graduate nursing at Clarkson College. "The opportunity to be part of a bigger endeavor and work with an interdisciplinary team is priceless in the broad perspective of a career in health care."

Clarkson College is now offering the program to core nursing students as well as CNAs. The first core students started the program in September.

"We look forward to sharing this opportunity to other Clarkson core nursing students, and expanding our program to students at other institutions," said Kim Falk, UNMC respite employer engagement coordinator.

For more information about the Respite Service Learning Certificate Program or becoming a paid respite provider, call Ellen Bennett, respite coordinator, at 402-559-5732.


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October 25, 2018 at 6:14 PM

To Whom It May Concern, I am interested in this program, but would like to hear more about it from those who had graduated from the respite program. I am looking for information that would conclude more about each individual that participated in this program. I believe I would get more information and meaningful advice from the four students. Yours truly, Blia