Thu, Jan. 23

Q&A with Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Karen Amoscato

Karen Amoscato is in her third year teaching Valley Academy’s CNA students. VVN/Bill Helm

Karen Amoscato is in her third year teaching Valley Academy’s CNA students. VVN/Bill Helm

COTTONWOOD – Becoming a certified nursing assistant is the first step to becoming a registered nurse.

That’s what the CNA instructor for Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education says.

Teaching the CNA program at Valley Academy for the past three years, Karen Amoscato is “passionate about the nursing profession and her students,” says Bob Weir, Valley Academy superintendent.

“She loves to teach her students the skills needed to be a successful CNA and future nurse,” Weir says. “Karen is knowledgeable of the subject matter and the hands-on skills needed to perform the task of a CNA in a safe manner.”

According to Weir, Amoscato has increased the time the students get to have clinicals at Verde Valley Medical Center and at the Haven.

“This has led to several of our students getting hired as CNAs after they complete the course and pass the state CNA nursing board exams,” Weir said. “The placement rate of her students working in the field and/or going on to get a higher nursing degree is in the 80-plus percent range.”

Weir says that the first thing he noticed about Amoscato’s abilities to educate was “the care she shows for her students.”

“She strives to see to it that her students understand the material being taught and that they can perform the CNA skills in the proper safe manner,” Weir says.

Verde Valley Newspapers: Tell us about your teaching style.

Karen Amoscato: “I incorporate different ways of teaching. I first develop a mutual respect with my students. I can be strict when need be, but also encourage self-expression to help develop a comfortable [and] safe atmosphere within the classroom. Students tend to learn better when they feel safe.

“I lecture using PowerPoints that follows the textbook and homework. The students know exactly what is expected of them. Students also must learn specific patient care skills for the nursing assistant boards that must be passed to become certified by the Az Board of Nursing.”

VVN: Tell us something notable about your career.

Amoscato: “I am proud to say that my CNA program is becoming notable. My students have been recruited for employment before they even graduate. They are also being hired by the local hospital Verde Valley Medical Center. Most of my students go on for higher education as well.

VVN: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Amoscato:“If you want to be successful in life, it takes hard work. Get an education.”

VVN: Tell us something about you that people may not know.

Amoscato: “I am a lifelong learner. I am presently working on my sixth and seventh degrees. Another Bachelor’s degree and another Master’s degree in Nursing Education.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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