Minnesota State Mankato offers nursing assistant course to help alleviate shortage

Minnesota State Mankato is offering a course to train nursing assistants to help alleviate the worker shortage in the healthcare industry.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 7:56 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 8:00 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The medical field hasn’t been immune to the recent worker shortage.

“The veteran health care professionals are exhausted from working so much during the pandemic,” said Kara DeLaFosse, director of the nursing assistant program at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

That is where Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Next Generation Nursing Assistant course comes into play.

The class is free of charge to nursing students or anyone who is interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

“It just exemplifies this is what they want,” DeLaFosse added. “Those are the individuals that ultimately we want to enter the workforce.”

It’s fully funded by the American Recovery Act.

Along with the course, MSU is providing its students with the essentials for success. One example of that is in the case of Melanie Pelarski, who commutes over two hours to take part in the Next Generation Nursing Assistant course.

“Me, myself, joining this program, I didn’t have a pair of scrubs, I wasn’t sure of what kind or where to get them. Having a pair on hand was really nice to get from another facility,” Pelarski explained. “A place that I go to, I decided to make the commute. It was something that I really wanted to do, and I was really looking forward to it. I also knew it would help out my future a little bit.”

Pelarski learned hands-on skills from the course, like how to take vital signs and provide personal care, among other techniques.

The Next Generation Nursing Assistant course has been in high demand, especially for the fall semester.

“Thirty-three students and we are getting an extensive waitlist. We find that the word of mouth has been the most beneficial,” DeLaFosse said. “Students come into this, and they are like ‘hey, I like this,’ so they refer their family, friends, and it’s filling up.”

Visit Minnesota State Mankato’s website for more information about the Next Generation Nursing Assistant course.