The Carreras en Salud (“Careers in Health”) program is a seven-step nursing pathway that prepares Latino adults with low income for employment in the healthcare sector. Citing the need for bilingual healthcare workers in the Chicago area, program planners embedded two credentials into the pathway: Certified Nursing Assistant and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The goal is to help participants ultimately earn the LPN credential and greatly increase their earnings.
Abt Associates’ evaluation of the program showed that after six years, Carreras increased by four percentage points the receipt of a college credential after eight or more months of fulltime equivalent college enrollment. Carreras had no detectable impact on average quarterly earnings. Significantly more treatment group members reported working in the healthcare field than did control group members (6 percentage point impact), although a minority of both groups worked in this field.
Abt evaluated Carreras as part of the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education project, a multi-site experimental study of nine programs using elements of the career pathways approach. The evaluation is funded by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.