Education

Training Programs

How long is the program?

The Nurse Assistant Apprenticeship Program is an accelerated program, lasting only six weeks.

Will I still work in my current position?

No, your position will change to "Nurse Assistant Apprentice".

What is the work schedule?

During the program, you will spend four full days per week either in the classroom or on a nursing floor with a preceptor (instructor). Your employee status will be considered part-time, benefits-eligible unless you opt to add additional hours (if available) to get to forty hours weekly.

What exactly does the $1,200 include? Are those funds that will need to be paid back?

The incentive helps students pay for the training and supervision expenses being provided by CoxHealth. The $1,200 is “paid back” to CoxHealth at a rate of $1.20 for every hour worked as a Nurse Assistant I or II, or Certified Nurse Assistant after program completion. It takes roughly 1,000 hours of work (about six months) to “pay back” the apprenticeship incentive.

How long is the work commitment?

The work commitment as a Nurse Assistant I, II, or Certified Nurse Assistant is 1,000 hours (or about six months). During this time, the participant must stay in an approved Nurse Assistant position and work a minimum of .6FTE or 48 hours per pay period until all required hours and costs are paid back. Changing positions or dropping below .6FTE, Part-Time status will remove you from this program and cause the unpaid portion of the contract to become due immediately. Participants must sign a Work Commitment Agreement, which outlines the official parameters of the program, including repayment terms and conditions.

What happens at the end of the apprentice program? How do I get my new job?

During the program, you will apply for eligible* in-patient nurse assistant positions and interview with hiring leaders. Within two weeks of the end of the apprenticeship, you are expected to accept an offer of employment and transfer to an eligible* in-patient nurse assistant position. You will remain in your new position until the worked hours required in your work commitment agreement are completed. Members of the HR recruitment team will guide you through this application process as part of your six‑week training.

For example, there may be extremely high need for Nurse Assistants in the medical/surgical or critical care units, but not the maternal child unit. Therefore, an apprentice will be expected to apply for and accept a position in medical/surgical or critical care. Only after you have worked the 1,000 hours required by your work commitment, will you be able to transfer to another location or department such as maternal child.

*Note: Eligible positions, departments, and locations are determined by nursing education based on a variety of factors. The listing of approved nurse assistant positions will be distributed to, and reviewed with, apprentices during the six‐week program. Requests for exceptions to this requirement are strongly discouraged.

Will I be taxed on the incentive amount I'm "earning"?

Once the participant passes the certification exam and starts working as a nurse assistant, they begin “earning” (or working off) the incentives that were paid for Apprenticeship fees. The number of worked hours are tracked on each paycheck and used to calculate how much has been “earned” or “forgiven/paid back” to CoxHealth. The IRS considers these types of incentives to be supplemental income and requires that the amount “earned” each pay period be taxed as part of the payroll process.

So, for the NA program, most people will work 80 hours per pay period; which means they will “earn” $1.20 per hour worked toward incentive forgiveness.

Example: 80 hrs worked * $1.20/hr = $96.00 earned or forgiven per pay period

The total amount “earned” each pay period will be taxed at whatever income tax rate applies for the individual employee’s income situation. Using the previous example:

$96 earned toward forgiveness * .20 (avg. tax rate) = $19.20 (taxes withheld from paycheck)

How do I apply to the program?

The online application is the primary way to show your interest in the Nurse Assistant Apprentice Program. The online application is located here:

Employee Portal > For Your Career > Advance Your Career > Nurse Assistant Apprentice Application

If I'm displaced due to COVID, will I have to repay my balance?

With COVID being such a dynamic situation location to location, it is hard for everyone to predict what things look like day to day, week to week. CoxHealth has done a wonderful job in making sure our displaced and low census employees have opportunities to continue working and accruing hours.

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