National Guard Soldiers Take Certified Nursing Assistant Training at SCTCC

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December 1, 2021

SCTCC welcomed Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard’s Task Force COVID to take certified nursing assistant (CNA) training organized by SCTCC Customized Training. The training started November 27 and will go through December 5.

The Minnesota National Guard is working with 16-state colleges to get over 400 Soldiers certified as CNAs. The task force is preparing to place Soldiers in under-staffed healthcare centers and assist in long-term care facilities to address staffing difficulties and shortages during a period of heightened need due to the pandemic. 

“It’s a bootcamp with 9-hour days,” said Diane Andersen-Sibley, a nursing assistant instructor at SCTCC. “We need to get them to at least 75 hours because that is the federal regulation.”  

The average completion of the CNA program at SCTCC takes 7-8 weeks to complete: half of an academic semester. These Soldiers will have completed the required hours necessary to achieve certifiability in 9 days. 

The training was conducted in a hybrid method with online lectures and hands on labs. The Soldiers learned how to provide oral and hygiene care, taking patients vitals, provide mobility assistance, and proper methods of medical documentation.  

“This is a cool opportunity,” Andersen-Sibley said. “They are learning the basic skills that every nurse needs to know.”

After the competition of the training, the Soldiers will need to take and pass a written test as well as a hands-on skills test. Passing these tests will place them on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry allowing them to work at any long-term care facility in the state.

Once on the registry, the Soldiers are qualified to continue working as CNAs in their civilian lives. The CNA certification training at SCTCC sets those Soldiers up to pursue an education in nursing at the college if they so choose to do so, Andersen-Sibley explained.

Learn more about what SCTCC Customized Training offers, including CNA and LPN/RN refreshers.

Andrew McNeil