Minnesota extends CNA training initiative

A Minnesota CNA training initiative has been extended through February of next year, due to the overwhelming success of the initial program.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 10:03 AM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - After a year of success, Minnesota is extending the Next Generation Nursing Assistant Initiative.

It’s been nearly a year since Minnesota launched its Next Generation Nursing Assistant Initiative in an attempt to curb the nationwide healthcare worker shortage seen over the past few years.

The initiative aimed to train 1,000 new CNAs by providing free training through Minnesota State colleges and other organizations.

That program has since been extended through February of next year, and Senator Tina Smith says that that is due to the overwhelming success of the initial program, training over 1,300 CNAs.

“Well I think about it in terms of 1,300 jobs that might have gone unfilled now have well-qualified people ready to do the work,” said Sen. Smith. “[There are] 1300 people that now have a great job and got their credentials by having all of their tuition, their books, their uniforms -- all of their costs of getting their credentials -- covered.”

The program was federally funded $3.5 million, that was received through the American Rescue Plan.

Experts say that the initiative has already gone a long way in chipping away at the shortage of medical workers, and that they hope to see similar programs continue long into the future.

“I think that what we’re doing is successful, that we’re helping to lessen the burden to fill the jobs, the needs,” said Dr. Kara De La Fosse of MSU Mankato. “We’re just telling our students right now to think about the awesome work that they’ve been trained to do and how they have that ability to go in and care for people.”