Minnesota hospitals desperately need nurses; the state turns to free education to fill jobs


A massive shortage of nurses is forcing Minnesota to turn to free education in order to get more hospital workers.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, a certified practical nurse is the sixth most in-demand job in the state. There are also approximately 15,000 CNA positions open statewide.

“COVID continues to pull people out of the workforce and you have to replace them with someone. And there comes a time when, again, you have no more employees. Traci Krause, who oversees the nursing program at Minneapolis College.

Gov. Tim Walz and his staff are now pushing programs that will help close these gaps in the health care system. This includes providing funds to help 10 secondary schools send students for practical training.

On Saturday, nine students from Roosevelt High School were in their second day of labs. Juniors and seniors practiced taking vital signs and general bedside care.

For some students, this opportunity means getting a head start on their healthcare career, at no cost.

“My grandparents were both diagnosed with illnesses that could have been caught at earlier stages,” said student Alexia McCullough. “Since then, I’ve really had this passion to get into a field that can help people,”

McCullough said she will be able to use this certificate to get a job at CNA this summer and it will be a reliable position throughout her medical training.

“It’s really good because obviously college has gotten really expensive. So to be able to get free college in high school that will help me achieve my future goals is really nice,” McCullough added.

For secondary school students, the program will take around ten weeks in total as they mainly study on weekends. The entire course is usually taught in five weeks.

Once students pass the CNA test, job prospects are good and will earn around $18-20 per hour to start.

Learn more about the Caregiver Program by clicking here.


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