Free classes are part of new Next Generation Nursing Assistant initiative

Minnesota State Community and Technical College will again be hosting free Certified Nursing Assistant courses as part of Gov. Tim Walz’s Next Generation Nursing Assistant initiative.

M State previously hosted free CNA courses in January, after the initiative was first announced. The initiative offers resources and support to those pursuing a CNA credential, including costs for tuition, fees and materials.

The starting goal of the governor’s program was to recruit and train 1,000 new CNAs before the end of the year in order to combat statewide staffing shortages at long-term care facilities and veterans homes.The program was so successful that the goal was met within just three months, in late March.

In a state announcement released at that time, Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Dennis Olson said, “Training over a thousand Minnesotans in three months is no small feat. I commend the staff and instructors of Minnesota State and private training providers for their selflessness in scaling up operations and outreach. It was truly awe-inspiring to watch this public-private partnership problem solve in real-time, moving mountains to ensure this program was a success.”

The Next Generation Nursing Assistant initiative continues through this year, and the governor’s office has proposed additional funding to extend it out further.

Nearly 70 students have already completed their CNA classes at M State as part of the initiative, and the college has been approved by the state to offer four more such classes this fall. The classes are coordinated by M State’s Workforce Development Solutions, which specializes in the skills and technology training needed to meet regional workforce demands.

M State’s Moorhead and Fergus Falls campuses will host this fall’s classes at the college. The Moorhead classes will be held Sept. 6-28 and Oct. 4-26, and the Fergus Falls classes will be Sept. 6 – Oct. 2 and Oct. 4-30.

For more information, visit or email BreAnna Tracy at Workforce Development Solutions, at

As a member of the Minnesota State system, M State serves more than 7,000 students in credit courses each year in more than 70 career and liberal arts programs online and at its campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. By partnering with communities, the college also provides workforce development services and other responsive training programs. Minnesota State Community and Technical College is a member of the Minnesota State system and is an equal opportunity educator/employer. Upon request, this information is available in alternative formats.