Training Collaboration Helps Laid Off Executive Assistant Pursue Sentara Nursing Career

Written by: John Shulson
Published on: May 20, 2022

female nurse
Photo credit: Burlingham/Adobe Stock

A pandemic-born effort to help employ Virginians for in-demand jobs is continuing to help workers pivot to new careers.

“Virginia Ready actually found me,” Angie Joaquin said.

When the 58-year-old grandmother of five was laid off from her job as an executive assistant in Portsmouth because of the pandemic, she chose to pursue her lifelong dream job in health care. She enrolled in Sentara Healthcare’s patient care technician program that was dialed into the nonprofit Virginia Ready initiative that began in 2020 in partnership with community colleges and the state’s FastForward Workforce Credential Program to help unemployed Virginians reskill with credentials to land better jobs.

The short-term training helped Joaquin to become a nursing care partner, working alongside nurses in taking vital signs, providing patient care and some administrative elements.

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