State and Colleges Partner to Train Licensed Practical Nurses and Alleviate Staffing Shortages


“I hadn’t realized how severe the shortage was,” said Megumi Takeda, a nursing student preparing to earn her CNA certification.

Takeda said she worked as an engineer in the medical device industry for eight years, but recently decided to change careers.

“I knew I wanted to help people more directly,” Takeda said. “I think there is something very rewarding about taking care of someone with kindness and respect.”

While continuing to train to become a registered nurse, she will be doing clinical rounds in nursing homes and plans to take additional shifts as needed.

“I think I’ll go where I’m needed,” Takeda said. “I really appreciated how quickly I was able to change careers.”

Nursing assistants are the sixth most in-demand job in the state, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

“It’s a need for code red for licensed practical nurses,” said Traci Krause, dean of the School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Welfare at Minneapolis College.

Sixteen colleges in the Minnesota state system, including Minneapolis College, have trained members of the Minnesota National Guard in recent weeks in emergency nursing home relief. Krause hopes the state’s new push to recruit more Minnesotans will help fill a critical gap.

“In a year without a pandemic, you will still have hundreds of nursing assistant openings in the subway. The pandemic has certainly increased that need, maybe double or triple,” Krause said.

As part of the new state initiative, five-week training courses will be free for those interested.

The governor plans to use federal funding from the US bailout to pay for expenses, including tuition, fees, books, technology, uniforms and exams.

Krause said their classes provide flexibility, with off-lab classes widely available online.

She said attendees to date range from high school students and retirees to those just looking to change careers.

“A lot of people are already caregivers in their lives to their children, older parents, other loved ones and so they can use the skills they already have and, with some training, go out and provide them on the job. the job market. If you ‘I have a heart and a brain, you can do that job and it’s important work, “Krause said.

Valerie DeFor, executive director of the Minnesota State HealthForce Center of Excellence, made this statement:

“The Minnesota State HealthForce Center of Excellence works with the governor’s office and state health officials to develop training plans. We anticipate that free training will be available statewide through the personalized training departments of our colleges, as well as other means, which could include high school offerings, community education classes, and training programs in. Care center. This is a “everyone on deck” effort and the collaboration between state agencies is impressive. “

DeFor said the state of Minnesota is still working on details of which campuses will provide CNA training and when those classes will begin.

She indicated that some programs could start in December and others in January.

Anyone interested in enrolling in one of these training programs can find more information here and here.


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