Free classes for students hoping to become certified nursing assistants are being offered in September and October at Minnesota State University Mankato.  Keith Hovis with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education says this program helps health care workers get their foot in the door:

“Over the course of the pandemic there have been thousands and thousands of vacancies that haven’t been able to be filled. So, this initiative it’s intended to help start filling those vacancies and make sure that we are supporting health of Minnesotans all around the state.”

The program is part of the Next Generation Nursing Assistant initiative which trained more than a thousand students statewide last year.  Hovis says it uses American Rescue Plan funds to cover the cost of tuition, books, uniforms, and certification exam fees.