(Rutherford County, TN —) – Nursing students from Rutherford County high schools participated in Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) pinning ceremonies May 7 at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. To participate in the pinning program, students had to complete coursework, clinical rotations and pass required national exams.

Rutherford County’s health care industry is expected to grow 28% by 2025. Students who earn certifications are eligible to receive college credit at participating institutions and are fast-tracking themselves for careers in healthcare. To complete certification requirements, educators and industry partners worked together through the Rutherford Works Health Care Council, whose mission is to address workforce shortages and establish collaborative partnerships.

In total, 52 students from Blackman, Oakland, Siegel and Stewarts Creek High Schools accepted their pins along with a few hugs from their teachers in front of friends, family and district staff. After receiving their pins and certificates students turned to the audience to recite the nursing pledge.

By achieving CNA or CCMA credentials, students are immediately employable by hospitals, nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities. “We know that these students will continue on to do great things. They are going to be there for us as we age or need care and I fully trust them to do the job,” expressed Tyra Pilgrim, Rutherford County Schools CTE coordinator.

Many of the students present also expressed how excited they were to receive this certification and have already made plans to pursue additional degrees and certifications at post-secondary institutions. “These students have the option to start work immediately, or continue their education and gain even more experience while completing their desired degrees,” continued Pilgrim.

“That was a hard test to complete and I am so proud of my students. They have earned it,” beamed Suzanne Morrow, health science instructor at Oakland High School. Morrow was joined by Jennifer Bettag, Sarah Slade, and Kristina Walker who addressed crowds of over 125 people during two separate ceremonies.


About the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and Rutherford Works
The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, which includes the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Destination Rutherford, Economic Development, Workforce Development and the Business Education Partnership, seeks to promote economic development and a quality of life to benefit all residents of Rutherford County. Rutherford Works efforts focus on bringing businesses and education partners together to ensure a strong and diverse economy through education and workforce development.

Contact: Essence Brisco
Rutherford Works Marketing Director
Phone: 615.278.2392
Email: ebrisco@rutherfordchamber.org