Wisconsin, USA, 11 August 2015 | 07:00 AM America/Chicago A Work of Heart We all know that nursing isn’t easy. But, seeing patients recover and thrive makes it all worth it. Most people may not remember or connect with their doctors or other staff like they do a nurse or Certified Nursing Assistant. Because let’s face it, they are the heart of healthcare. The empathy and care they provide to patients helps encourage strength and recovery. It takes special people to see people at their worst, most difficult time and support them on their course to getting healthy and enjoying a great quality of life. The job opportunities also provide a great quality of life for those who purse these careers. Christopher Strickland, a 52 year-old father, who was laid off as a cook at a local pub, realized this job path could create stability and help him earn a better income. He was experiencing difficulty finding steady employment and wanted to work in a field where there’s a need. It was happenstance that he came across an ad in the newspaper about the Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program and the chance to receive a scholarship to complete the training. He decided to apply and was awarded a State Farm® scholarship to achieve his goals. Christopher quickly realized through his training that nursing was the right fit for this next step in his career journey. His charisma and sense of humor went over famously with the residents at a nursing home where students perform their clinicals. Residents developed meaningful relationships with Christopher, and it helped them feel comfortable being in their most vulnerable state. As Christopher shared excitement for his new opportunity, his son, Ali, took notice that nursing is a field that will always have a need for qualified individuals. Ali, a 23 year-old young man didn’t have a job at the time and wanted to find something that would provide a decent salary. He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, applied and was awarded a State Farm scholarship to complete his training. “Nursing has always been a field dominated by women, but more patients are wanting to have a choice as to whether a man or woman takes care of them.," NAT Coordinator Tanya Christensen shared. "In addition, people who are further along in their careers are realizing nursing could be a great next career step since the healthcare sector continues to add jobs and that the unemployment rate is low. With all these reasons, why wouldn’t someone pursue this rewarding career path.” Lucikly, there’s still time to apply for scholarships and participate in training sessions provided by the Red Cross. Day and evening classes are taking place in Green Bay, La Crosse and Waupaca. Check out the Red Cross NAT website for more details!