Member Spotlight: Alex’s Story

Alex Knox, a nursing assistant at MultiCare Deaconess, plans to be in school for a long time. Currently taking classes to become a licensed nurse, Alex dreams of going “all the way” to get his Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). And the Training Fund is an integral part of his plan! 

Alex first heard about the Training Fund at his general orientation at MultiCare. Although he was already in school for nursing prerequisites, he wasn’t yet taking advantage of the Training Fund. All that changed after he met Joshua Porter, then an Education Navigator and currently the Training Fund’s Director of Labor Management Programs. Joshua helped him prepare for the TEAS nursing school entry exam. “I learned more about the Training Fund and the benefits of having this extra money to help through school,” says Alex. “I didn’t want taking out loans to be my only option.” 

Beyond Tuition Assistance, the Training Fund also provided Knox with resources to prepare for his nursing exam: “I was able to prepare for the TEAS, I was given prep materials for the TEAS, I even think I had the TEAS paid for—all reimbursed after passing. Without it, I would’ve been more strapped for cash, so it was great to have that extra help.” The Training Fund, Knox affirms, “helped get me the resources that allowed me to study effectively and that I wouldn’t be able to pay for on my own.” (Learn more about how the Training Fund can support your TEAS preparation here.)

The Training Fund reimburses LPN members up to $300 for specialty certifications and membership in some professional organizations. And Alex has also benefited from the Professional Development opportunities provided by the Training Fund. “I’ve actually also taken advantage of educational benefits,” he says. “I was able to do a training and take a board certification, and I got reimbursed from the Training Fund for that certification .”  

Knox credits Joshua Porter and Diane Sosne, outgoing SEIU1199 NW Healthcare president, as inspirations on his healthcare journey. Knox says, “Joshua supported me and was always there cheering me on, making sure I was connected to resources.” He credits Sosne with being a “beacon.” “I already knew I wanted to be a nurse,” he says, “but she helped ignite a passion.” 

With plans to continue on the path toward a DNP and work in public health, Knox hopes to continue working for a union employer so that he can continue to access the Training Fund’s benefits and services. He also encourages others to take advantage of this unique resource: “There are lots of people who are looking for advancement and who want to climb the ladder. But it’s so difficult working our job and it’s hard to be connected to the resources. It’s so helpful that there’s really one place that you can go to, like the Training Fund, for your continuing education and career needs.”