Isothermal facility helps PCHS students complete nursing course

When the COVID-19 pandemic halted a high school nurse aide course, Isothermal Community College joined forces with Polk County High School to enable students to complete the class.

PCHS was forced in March to stop in-person learning in response to the public health emergency, leaving nine CNA students without the clinical experience needed to finish the class.

Their instructor, Susan Lail, discovered that some other programs in the state were allowed to continue if they were able to secure a suitable site in which to complete the training with proper sanitation, protective gear and distancing.

Lail and PCHS Principal Dr. Brandon Schweitzer contacted Betsy Cuthbertson, the Allied Health coordinator at Isothermal. Cuthbertson was able to provide the space and equipment for the clinical training at the ICC Polk Center in Columbus.

“I cannot express how grateful we are to Isothermal Community College and their nurse aide program,” said Schweitzer. “Through this partnership, we’ve been able to develop creative solutions that will allow our nurse aide candidates a chance at certification. I’d like to say a special thank you to Ms. Betsy Cuthbertson and Mrs. Susan Lail for all of their hard work in making this opportunity happen for our students.”

The students who completed the program are Anastasia Ballard, Jimena Ramirez, Karla Olguin, Macii Jackson, Amelia Nespeca, Leeann Bradley, Masen McCraw, Noah Foy and Hope Patterson.

“I was so excited when Principal Schweitzer reached out to me about using Isothermal Community College’s state-approved Nurse Aide Training facility to help their students complete the clinical simulation component of their Nursing Fundamentals program,” said Cuthbertson. “We are blessed with exceptional training facilities and equipment, and are more than happy to help meet the needs of our community in any way we can.

“Creating innovative partnerships with our local educational agencies is one of the many ways Isothermal can serve our citizens and help grow the workforce in areas that are in high demand inside our counties.”

For more information on nurse aide certification or other allied health programs, contact Cuthbertson at

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