Riverland Community College is one of sixteen Minnesota State colleges to provide emergency Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training for members of the Minnesota National Guard. Guard members will serve 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.


Riverland Community College Nursing Faculty, Minnesota National Guard

Dr. Kara De La Fosse, instructor


Emergency training of National Guard, others to become Certified Nursing Assistants.


Sunday, Nov. 28 – Sunday, Dec. 5, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

(Instructor suggests most hands-on activities will be 12 noon to 5:30 p.m.)


Riverland Community College

Austin Campus, West Building Nursing Lab

1900 8th Ave NW

Austin, MN 55912


The Minnesota State Healthcare Training Network (our non-credit healthcare training sector) mobilized within a week to respond to a request from the Minnesota National Guard to provide CNA training. The initial request required all training for 400 members to be completed by December 5 as the vaccination requirement for healthcare workers is effective December 6, 2021. Riverland will begin training Sunday, November 28 to meet this deadline. Currently 16 campuses have opened training for over 400 National Guard members. Additionally, up to 400 more participants can be trained before June 30, 2022.

The Nursing Assistant for the National Guard training is a 75-hour training that will be delivered in-person and in a hybrid model. A hands-on skills lab is included in the training. National Guard members who complete the training with a passing grade will also be eligible to sit for the written and skills test. Participants who pass both portions of the testing for nursing assistant will be placed on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry and will be eligible to continue working as a nursing assistant in their civilian life. This training may be the start to a career pathway in a very high demand field: according to RealTime Talent, prior the COVID-19 pandemic, nine employers completed a two-year forecast estimating they would need to fill 5,400 positions just within their metro region locations.

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