Program Update: The state has met its goal of recruiting and training 1,000 new nursing assistants through this free training initiative. Read Governor Walz’s press release on meeting the goal.
Governor Walz has proposed continued investment in free nursing assistant training. If that recommendation is funded during the 2022 legislative session, we will update this webpage with more information.
Currently, all courses under this initiative are full. If the initiative receives additional funding, we will update this page. Many training providers may still offer financial assistance. Reach out to your local training program for information on how you can become a nursing assistant.
If you received free training through this initiative, the next step is to take your certification exam. For anyone who received free training through this initiative, your certification exam fee will be provided at no cost to you.
Note: Top complete certification, you will need to take a skills test AND a knowledge test.
Find/sign up for your skills and knowledge tests:
Once certified, you will be able eligible for employment at any hospital, veterans homes, or long-term care facility in Minnesota.
(Student enrollment data as of 3/29/22)
Good question! According to data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, nursing assistants are the sixth highest in-demand job in the state. This need has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, and the current pipeline of students pursing a CNA credential is not poised to meet the demand.
To address this need, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education is convening a work group of state agencies, higher education institutions, and long-term care providers to implement the recruiting and training program. The initiative will offer resources and support to those pursuing a CNA credential from the first day of class to the first day on the job. This includes covering costs for tuition, fees, and materials. Additional investments will support transportation and technology needs for students.
The program will also provide up to 10 high schools with funds for lab equipment necessary to offer nursing assistant training classes on site. Information on how high schools can apply to be considered will be provided shortly. This website will be updated at that time.
The initiative is made possible through federal American Rescue Plan funds.
Member organizations of the workgroup include:
For questions about the initiative, contact CNAProgram.OHE@state.mn.us.