Clare CNA Training Center now open

August 23, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Wendy McJames, RN, CALD (Certified Assisted Living Director), CDP (Certified Dementia Practitioner) is the RN Health and Wellness Director at the newly opened Pioneer Golden Estates in Clare.

That’s her full-time job and one she loves, but now she has added a new business to fill most of her evenings and weekends as well.

She just opened the new Clare CNA Training Center, a State Certified Nurse

Wendy McJames, RN, and instructor of her new business, the Clare CNA Training Center, is shown here with some of her equipment and her training Mannequin, “Suzie.”

Wendy McJames, RN, and instructor of her new business, the Clare CNA Training Center, is shown here with some of her equipment and her training Mannequin, “Suzie.”

Aide Training Program, located just east of Clare at 5757 Pere’ Marquette Road (Business US-10). “This was a dream of mine,” she said. “I’ve wanted to develop a training center for the past ten years.”

A 1994 graduate of Coleman High School, Wendy said she finished high school a semester late and while completing her high school education she completed a CNA program. “That’s when I discovered it was what I wanted to do with my life.”

After graduation she worked as a CNA at North Woods Nursing Center for ten years while attending Mid Michigan Community College’s Nursing Program. She became a Registered Nurse while employed there, starting as a CNA, then as a Floor Nurse and finally as a Clinical Coordinator. “My grandma and my mom were so proud of me,” she said. She lost her grandma and just recently her mother to cancer, and although she misses them, she said, “I believe they are still watching over me.”

She has also worked in home care, long-time care, and infusion (IV) therapy.
In 2010 she went to work at Prestige Place in Clare for nine years. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. “That’s my passion,” she said. “I love working with the patients.”

A very busy lady, she credits her successes to the support she gets from her family especially her Dad Richard Young of Coleman and her husband Brian McJames who she said “completely supports me.” He is always close by to help out and works at Zinser Plumbing and Heating, located in the same building as the new training center.

Her new training center is now open and ready for students. Nearly all of the equipment in the center, which is located next door to the Style on Top Salon, was donated to her by community members who no longer need it.

Her classes, which will include 84 hours of instruction with 16 of those hours at a clinical site at North Woods Nursing Center, will stress “compassionate and comforting care for patients.”

She said students will practice on each other and for some personal care, on her mannequin “Suzie.”

“I want my students to know how it feels when another person is caring for you. It can be frightening for a patient to have a stranger touch them. Students need to learn how to give the care that will make them feel safe and well cared for.”

Her first CNA classes are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday nights from 5 to 9 p.m. and on every weekend. Three classes are already scheduled, beginning September 8th, October 17th and November 28th. Class times will be scheduled according to her students’ needs on evenings and weekends. She said she will work with students on payment plans.

Those interested in the CNA training program or looking for more information about the program, can call McJames at 989-240-2622 or email her at


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