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New nursing certification lab coming to Bettendorf High School

The new lab will allow students to have a hands-on experience as they work in the new nursing certification class, which begins with the new term on Tuesday.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Bettendorf High School is offering its students a new opportunity to explore careers in healthcare. 

Wednesday marked the end of the term at Bettendorf High, but it also unveiled a first.

"It's a great stepping stone into a further career," said Bettendorf Senior Aliya Barnett.

Barnett is enrolled in the new nursing certification class for later this academic year. The new class officially starts for a group of 10 students on Tuesday with the new term.

The senior has taken several other classes in the health sciences program already, preparing her for this hands-on experience.

"Exploring the careers through class has been super helpful to open my eyes to just like all the ideas and all the different opportunities I do have, because the medical field is so broad," Barnett said.

The new program, a first for Bettendorf, is accompanied by the new nursing certification lab.

"It's going to be so beneficial, especially when we have the manikins to practice on, the actual tools to practice with," Barnett said.

Ava Rice-Miller already has earned her CNA certification, but said having a class like this is beneficial for career exploration, especially because of the teachers.

"They have experiences of actually working hands on with patients and so it's good experience to have," Rice-Miller said.

The class will be led by Dr. Anna Roeder and RN Roxanne Schmertmann.

"We have an extreme health care need, not only in this particular area but, you know, nation-wide," Schmertmann said.

Schmertmann said the class will teach the nursing basics, which she has relied upon for her entire career.

"This program will not only allow students who are wanting to get out there and get a good paying job right away but it also gives opportunities for future nursing students," Schmertmann said.

The program is accredited through Scott Community College. That means students could choose to take the CNA exam once students complete the class and meet applicable age requirements, according to Bettendorf High School officials.

The program took about four years to design and secure funding, with the money coming through a grant from Scott County, and another from the federal government.