ARCC’s Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aid program meets community needs

Enrollment has soared in the Anoka-Ramsey Community College non-credit certified nursing assistant/home health aide (CNA/HHA) program since it was launched in February 2011. Demand was immediate both to attend the program and for graduates of the program. To date nearly 300 students have graduated from the non-credit program.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of nursing and psychiatric aides is projected to grow 18 percent between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants will grow 19 percent, predominantly in response to the long-term care needs of an increasing elderly population.

“The healthcare industry needs our graduates,” says the program manager, Diane Sibley. “Our aging population is increasing and those in need of long term care in both facility and home settings are on the rise.  Quality, compassionate nursing assistants and home health aides are needed in long term care facilities, assisted living facilities, home care settings, hospitals, group homes, hospices, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals and private homes.”

One recent graduate is Sam Anderson, a Cambridge resident with a bachelor’s degree. With only the 77 hours of program training, Anderson was able to find satisfying work in this ever-growing field.

CNA/HHAs certified through the Anoka-Ramsey program are registered by the Minnesota CNA State Registry after successful completion of the state nursing assistant test required for employment in long-term care facilities throughout Minnesota. Students learn basic nursing skills under the supervision and guidance of registered nurses and they practice in laboratories and clinical environments.

The cost for the program is $745 plus an optional textbook, and there are several program options at both the Cambridge and Coon Rapids campuses. Saturday classes are offered continually throughout the year. Evening classes also run continually, though the actual days they are offered may vary. A limited number of weekday classes are also offered. Accelerated daytime classes are offered throughout the summer. Saturdays will continue to be available in the summer and some evenings. The full class schedule can be viewed at Students may register at that site as well.

Interested individuals from the Cambridge Campus may be eligible for tuition assistance for the CNA/HHA program through a U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to the Healthcare Alliance. For more information, call 320-629-4570.

For more information about non-credit healthcare programs at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, contact the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Professional Training Center at 763-433-1200.