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Indy woman expands training for certified nursing assistant program

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An east side native is working to bridge the gap by helping fill the need of a growing industry by training certified nursing assistants.

In just 2½ years, Star Training has gone from three students to a class of 13. The owner says it’s important, particularly for the east side community she grew up in, to show people there are plenty of ways to reach success, and her story is one to watch.

This is a new chapter for the Star Training certified nursing assistant (CNA) program. The owner, Shawnelle Turman, is getting settled into a larger office space to train the next batch of health care workers.

“CNA field grows faster than any other career field, and the need is there, especially as our baby boomers’ generation is becoming more and more elderly,” Turman said.

This certified nursing assistant program started as a dream for Turman, but she brought it to life in the middle of the pandemic.

“I feel like growing up in those areas. The people that you see that are successful are, unfortunately, drug dealers or rappers or people who play sports,” she said. “Those are the people you see who are successful so that’s who you want to emulate, and it’s like no those aren’t our only success avenues.”

Being a young mom, she wanted to better provide for her family. So, early on, she got support from the local community center, Community Alliance of the Far Eastside. Realizing a bigger passion, she pushed herself to become a registered nurse.

“Let’s bring this full circle and give those people that are wanting this training adequate training for the dollars at the community center is putting out there,” Turman said.

She says many people in the east-side community face barriers, so the community partnerships help keep things going, be it transportation, rental assistance and more.

Jasmin Kavanaugh, a certified nursing assistant siad of Turman, “She’s made it a lot easier. She’s a good person. … I still inbox her now about nursing school.”

So far, roughly 100 students have gotten certified. Kavanaugh is one of the early participants. She’s a CNA now in nursing school.

“As you can imagine, I’ve had students where I say, ‘you know what, I don’t want to teach anymore,’ ‘I don’t want to do ‘this’ anymore’ and then I have students, like Jasmin, who are successful in the program,” Turman said.

Next up, Turman is launching a home care business, but if you’re interested in getting in on the CNA classes, anyone can register right now.