Southwestern Vermont Health Care offers free paid training for licensed nursing assistants

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BENNINGTON — Over the past several years, Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) has trained hundreds of people to become licensed nursing assistants (LNA).

Many have gone on to rewarding careers in the health system’s skilled nursing facilities or in the hospital’s inpatient units.

“This is a great, very cost-effective way to begin a health care career,” said Eileen Wood, the program coordinator. “LNAs earn good wages, gain valuable experience, and help others. It can be very satisfying.”

The training typically costs as much as $1,400.

Those who enter SVHC’s program agree to a 1-year contract, receive free training and earn the starting hourly rate while they train.

Those who are interested apply and are hired at SVHC in the care assistant role.

From there, they may be considered for a slot in the class and are provided with time off to complete the 3-week training and study for the state licensing exam.

“We have an excellent program with a good clinical foundation and lots of support for students,” Wood said. “Most of our students, more than 90 percent, pass on the first attempt and advance to become LNAs.”

The next training section begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 29 at the Innovative Learning Center on the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Campus in Bennington.

The training schedule is Monday – Friday.

Prospective students should apply to the care assistant position by May 11 to be considered.

Visit the “Current Openings” link at and search for “care assistant” to get started.

For additional information, contact Eileen Wood at 802-447-5457 or email