Kathryn Bunn

SembraSchool CNA



Innovative Model Eases Healthcare Employers’ Struggle to Hire Nurse Aides

SembraSchool CNA Training program partners with healthcare employers to improve Nurse Aide recruitment and retention.


Raleigh, NC: HomeChoice Healthcare just added three new Certified Nurse Aides (CNA’s) to their agency with the help of SembraSchool, a new CNA training program that partners with local healthcare employers to up-skill current caregivers into CNA’s in as little as three weeks.

“We are very excited to have our first graduates,” says Matthew Brown, Human Resource Director for HomeChoice Healthcare Group. “Offering our best PCA’s a career ladder that allows them to get certified as CNAs (NA1s) and increase their income has definitely improved retention. And, offering new hires the opportunity to get certified has greatly improved our recruitment efforts.”

Hiring and retaining professional caregivers has been a challenge for years—and the pandemic has only exacerbated this long-standing crisis.

Schaefer O’Neill, President of SembraCare and its related entities including SembraSchool, has been a long-term investor and builder within the home care industry for more than 20 years. Schaefer recalls, “I talked to home care owners nearly every day and the conversations just kept circling back to the same problem, recruiting and retaining professional Nurse Aides. I knew I needed to come up with a progressive plan of action.”

The SembraSchool Nurse Aide Training Program was officially approved by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in November 2021. But, SembraSchool is not like other nurse aide training programs in the area. SembraSchool’s mission is to work directly with healthcare employers to provide students the opportunity to attend the program with tuition assistance and guaranteed job placement. Many of the students are also able to work with their sponsoring agency while attending the program.

“The response has been overwhelming,” reports Kathyrn Bunn, COO, and Director of SembraSchool. “Many of our partners are so eager to get new CNAs on their team, they are footing the entire bill for the tuition in exchange for a commitment to work for a specific period of time.”

Another option for agencies that can’t afford to absorb the cost of tuition is for the employer to pay the tuition upfront and have the student pay it back in small increments out of each paycheck with a commitment to work until the loan is paid off.

SembraSchool offers convenient 3 and 6-week programs that fast-track students toward obtaining their CNA certification quickly—allowing them to get into the community to care for clients ASAP.


About SembraSchool CNA-I Training Program: SembraSchool offers a Nurse Aide I training program for adult students. This program provides entry-level students with the skills and knowledge required to provide resident care under the general supervision of a registered nurse and to successfully meet the competency requirements for listing on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry. SembraSchool’s mission is to increase the number of Nurse Aide I trained health care professionals in the health care workforce across the state of North Carolina to keep the aging population healthy and safe. For more information on SembraSchool, contact (919) 704-7690,, or visit

About HomeChoice Healthcare: HomeChoice Healthcare is a multi-region Group of Providers serving In-Home Care Recipients. The HomeChoice Group is committed to caring for the aging population in North Carolina.  Originally founded in 2005, HomeChoice’s mission is based upon the growing need for home care providers whose utmost concern is providing great healthcare. HomeChoice understands that its employees make the company a success.  Their employees are compensated higher than the industry average because they believe it helps keep turnover low, allowing a bond to form between Caregivers and their Recipients. For more information on HomeChoice, contact (919) 897-8500,, or visit





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