Three Journeys to Caregiving: CNA Career Pathway Program Provides Life-Changing Opportunity

Not long ago, three Kresge Center Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) had very different jobs. David Smith provided in-home care. Hannah Dunsmore cared for pets. Maggie Stafford waited tables. Then they learned about UMRC’s CNA Career Pathway Program. For each of them, the program has been life-changing.

“I had been looking for a different direction,” says Maggie, a mother of two. “I wanted to provide a different kind of service with long-term impact. This program offers that opportunity.”

The CNA Career Pathway Program began in 2017 as a way to attract new career candidates or those seeking a second career in geriatric care. UMRC’s program pays all associated training costs upfront, as well as a competitive hourly wage to qualified students while completing classes. In return, program graduates commit a minimum of one year of employment at UMRC’s Kresge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

Hannah and David started the program together. “I really like the care aspect of becoming a CNA,” says Hannah. “It is interesting getting to know people, to hear their stories and appreciate the value of life.” David, who works primarily on the rehabilitation floor, says, “I like seeing the guests’ progress and helping them get back to their lives.”

All three CNA’s feel they have received a unique career opportunity. Thanks to the UMRC Foundation’s Staff Scholarship program, each of them is considering further education in healthcare as well.

“It feels like UMRC wants us to succeed,” says Hannah. “There are great opportunities for career development here – not many places would do that. There are amazing people working here.”

To learn more about the CNA Career Pathway Program, visit or contact UMRC Human Resources at 734.433.1000 ext. 7512.