(found 145 schools, updated in August 2017)
People choose a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Minnesota for many reasons, and topping the list is a desire to assist people with their basic needs while in a medical facility or long-term nursing home. CNAs are healthcare professionals who have the most consistent contact with patients and residents and play an important role in ensuring clients get needed attention. The Minnesota Depart of Health (MDOH) approves training programs and maintains the Nursing Assistant Registry.
- 7 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Minnesota
- How to Keep Certification Active
- Career Outlook and Salary for CNAs in Minnesota
- Get Certification in Other States
7 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Minnesota
It does not take long to become a CNA in Minnesota when certain steps are followed. The first step is reviewing the various routes to certification, and the final step is getting the applicant’s name on the CNA Registry, a requirement to be eligible for permanent employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Following are the steps to follow which lead to meeting certification requirements for the CNA or NA/HHA.
Step 1: Review the Eligibility Routes
In Minnesota, students can complete a state-approved program to become a CNA or complete a combined program leading to a Nurse Aide/Home Health Aide (NA/HHA) certification. The choice a student makes influences the program he or she will need to enroll in and the type of certification examination the applicant must pass.
Minnesota has a unique set of regulations concerning CNA training because people are allowed to take the test without training. However, an additional rule applies to these applicants. Federal and state law allows people work for up to four months in a nursing home or long-term care facility while completing training. They must be on the Registry, a state listing of people who have met certification requirements, by the end of the four months to continue employment. If a person decides to challenge the certification exam, and has not completed a nurse aide training program or is not enrolled in one, he or she is not allowed to work as a nursing assistant until certified.
Following are descriptions of the various eligibility routes to CNA or NA/HHA certification in Minnesota.
Route 1 for CNA
Complete a state-approved nursing assistant training program and pass the Written and Skills parts of the certification exam within two years of completing the program.
Route 2 for NA/HHA
Complete a state-approved nursing assistant/home health aide program and pass the Written and Skills parts of the NA/HHA certification exam within two years of completing the program.
Route 3 to Add HHA Certification to CNA Certification
Show proof of CNA certification, including valid listing on the Registry; complete a state-approved HHA program; and pass the NA/HHA Written Examination.
Route 4 to Challenge or By-Pass the CNA Exam
Depending on the circumstances, an applicant can request permission from the MDOH to take the examination without additional training OR ask to be placed directly on the Registry without additional training or examination. Challenging the exam is called “test out” in Minnesota. It is a term for testing without going through training:
- Opt to challenge the test without completing a CNA training program – Minnesota allows people to test out without attending a state-approved training program. However, choosing this option means the applicant cannot work as a nursing assistant until placed on the CNA Registry.
- Out of state CNAs – Certified Nursing Assistants who are in good standing on an out of state Nurse Aide Registry, and can get employer verification of having worked at least eight hours as a CNA in the prior 24 months, can request direct placement in the Registry without additional training or examination. If not in good standing on the out of state Registry, it may be possible to retake the exam without retraining.
- Nursing Assistants who trained in another country – Nursing Assistants who trained in a foreign country can request to challenge or test out of the exam.
- CNAs who did not work as a CNA in the last two years – If certification was allowed to lapse, the applicant can request to retake the exam without going through training again.
- Nursing students or graduate nurse candidates – Nursing students who have completed fundamentals of nursing courses, and graduate nurses who have not yet passed the licensing exam, can challenge the CNA exam.
- Military trained nursing assistants – Applicants who trained as nursing assistants or equivalent healthcare personnel while in the military can request to challenge the CNA exam in Minnesota.
Step 2: Find a State-Approved Training Program
For those people who need or want to complete nurse aide training in Minnesota, it is important to choose a state-approved program. There is a wide selection of approximately 145 CNA programs in Minnesota that are offered at technical and community colleges, educational institutes, high schools, nursing homes, retirement centers, long-term care facilities, hospices, hospitals, job corps centers, career institutes and colleges.
CNA Classes in Minnesota by City
The following table lists all the state-approved CNA classes in Minnesota. The school list is updated in August 2017.
|City||Training Program Provider||Phone|
|Ada||Bridges Care Community||(218) 784-5500|
|Albany||Mother of Mercy Campus of Care|
|Albert Lea||Good Samaritan Society|
|Alexandria||Alexandria Technical & Community College|
|Anoka||Anoka Technical College|
|Anoka||Anoka Technical College Online Program|
|Arlington||Sibley Health Science Program||(507) 317-9231|
|Austin||Riverland Community College|
|Baudette||LakeWood Care Center|
|Bemidji||Bemidji Optivation||(218) 333-6629|
|Bemidji||Northwest Technical College|
|Bigfork||Bigfork Valley Hospital|
|Bloomington||Bloomington College and Career Academy|
|Bloomington||Normandale Community College|
|Bloomington||Zandu Health Initiative|
|Bloomington||Zandu Health Initiative (NA/HHA Online Program)|
|Blue Earth||Saint Luke's Lutheran Care Center|
|Brainerd||Brainerd Senior High School||(218) 824-6247|
|Brainerd||Central Lakes College|
|Brainerd||Good Samaritan Society|
|Breckenridge||Saint Francis Healthcare Campus|
|Brooklyn Center||Avid Home and Community Healthcare Services||(612) 284-8186|
|Brooklyn Park||Hennepin Technical College|
|Brooklyn Park||JJ School of Technology||(763) 560-0544|
|Brooklyn Park||North Metro Health Institute||(763) 438-3314|
|Browerville||Browerville High School|
|Buffalo||Wright Technical Center School District #0966|
|Burnsville||Burnsville High School (High School Students Only)|
|Cambridge||Anoka Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus|
|Cambridge||Blended Online Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide||(763) 433-1200|
|Cambridge||Scofield Nursing Assistant Training Center||(320) 396-3014|
|Canby||Sanford Canby Medical Center/Sylvan Court|
|Chaska||Auburn Homes and Services|
|Chaska||SouthWest Metro Intermediate District #288||(952) 567-8068|
|Chatfield||Chosen Valley Care Center|
|Cloquet||Fond Du Lac Tribal & Community College|
|Cokato||Kathryn's Nursing Assistant Training||(320) 286-5304|
|Cold Spring||Assumption Community|
|Cottonwood||Mary Neuman NA Training||(507) 530-7373|
|Crookston||Villa St Vincent|
|Crookston||Villa St Vincent (E-Learning Nurse Aide Class)|
|Deer River||Deer River High School|
|Detroit Lakes||Ecumen Detroit Lakes|
|Detroit Lakes||Essentia Health-Oak Crossing|
|Detroit Lakes||Minnesota State Community and Technical College|
|Duluth||Lake Superior College|
|East Grand Forks||Northland Community & Technical College|
|Eden Prairie||Hennepin Technical College|
|Eden Prairie||Intermediate District #287 at Hennepin Technical College|
|Elk River||Guardian Angels Care Center|
|Ely||Boundary Waters Care Center|
|Eveleth||Mesabi Range College|
|Faribault||South Central College|
|Fergus Falls||Minnesota State Community and Technical College|
|Golden Valley||Colonial Acres at Covenant Village of Golden Valley||(763) 732-1435|
|Graceville||Essentia Health-Grace Home|
|Grand Rapids||Itasca Community College|
|Hayfield||Ronda's Hayfield Nursing Assistant Program||(507) 993-0773|
|Hendricks||Hendricks Community Hospital & Nursing Home||(507) 275-3134|
|Hibbing||Hibbing Community College Health Science Program|
|Hibbing||Hibbing Community College|
|Hills||Tuff Memorial Home|
|Howard Lake||Anderson's NAR/HHA Training|
|International Falls||Good Samaritan Society|
|International Falls||Rainy River Community College|
|Inver Grove Heights||Inver Hills Community College|
|Inver Grove Heights||Inver Hills Community College Online NA/HHA|
|Karlstad||Karlstad Senior Living|
|Lake Park||Sunnyside Care Center||(218) 238-5944|
|Le Sueur||Minnesota Valley Health Center|
|Long Prairie||CentraCare Health System - Long Prairie|
|Luverne||Good Samaritan Society|
|Mankato||District 77 High School Program||(507) 625-8741|
|Mankato||Monarch Healthcare Management|
|Melrose||CentraCare Health Regional NA Program|
|Menahga||Menahga Public Schools ISD 821|
|Milaca||Elim Care & Rehab Center|
|Minneapolis||American Nursing & Technical Institute||(612) 558-0895|
|Minneapolis||American Red Cross of the Minnesota Territory|
|Minneapolis||Lighthouse Training Center|
|Minneapolis||Lincoln International High School|
|Minneapolis||Midwest Career Institute||(612) 588-9410|
|Minneapolis||Minneapolis Community & Technical College|
|Minneapolis||North American Medical Academy||(612) 521-0602|
|Moorhead||Eventide Senior Living|
|Moorhead||M State Community and Technical College Workforce Development Solutions|
|Moorhead||Minnesota State Community and Technical College|
|Moose Lake||Augustana Mercy Health Care Center|
|Moose Lake||Mercy Hospital|
|Morris||West Wind Village|
|New Hope||Accredited School of Nursing Assistant/HHA|
|New York Mills||New York Mills Public Schools|
|North Mankato||High-Step Health Science Academy|
|North Mankato||South Central College|
|Northfield||Northfield Retirement Community|
|Northfield||Three Links Care Center|
|Osseo||Osseo Senior High School|
|Park Rapids||Park Rapids Area High School|
|Parkers Prairie||Saint Williams Living Center|
|Perham||Perham Living||(218) 346-1181|
|Pierz||Horizon Health, Inc.|
|Pine City||Pine Technical and Community College|
|Pipestone||MN West Community & Technical College|
|Princeton||Elim Care & Rehab Center|
|Red Wing||Minnesota State College Southeast|
|Rochester||Hawthorne Education Center, Rochester Public||(507) 273-0713|
|Rochester||North Shore Healthcare Training Program|
|Rochester||Rochester Community and Technical College|
|Rochester||Rochester Public School # 535|
|Rochester||Samaritan Bethany Arbor Terrace|
|Roseau||LifeCare Roseau Manor|
|Rosemount||Center for Workforce Development Open Enrollment||(651) 423-8549|
|Rosemount||Dakota County Technical College|
|Rushford||Rushford-Peterson School District|
|Saint Cloud||St. Cloud Technical & Community College|
|Saint Paul||Guadalupe Alternative Program|
|Saint Paul||Hubert H Humphrey Job Corps Center|
|Saint Paul||International Institute of Minnesota|
|Saint Paul||Saint Paul College|
|Saint Paul||Shaller Family Sholom - East Campus|
|Saint Peter||Benedictine Living Community|
|Sartell||Country Manor Health Care & Retirement Center|
|Sartell||Specialized Health & Safety Management||(320) 248-3679|
|Shakopee||Shakopee High School|
|Shakopee||Shakopee High School|
|Silver Bay||Minnesota Veterans Home, Silver Bay|
|Spring Lake Park||Spring Lake Park High School|
|Staples||Lakewood Health System Care Center|
|Staples||Staples Motley High School||(218) 894-2439|
|Thief River Falls||Northland Community & Technical College|
|Twin Valley||Twin Valley Living Center|
|Wadena||Minnesota State Community and Technical College|
|Waite Park||Scrubs Academy, LLC|
|Walker||Walker, Hackensack and Akeley High School Program||(218) 547-5322|
|Warroad||Warroad Care Center|
|Waseca||Lakeshore Inn Nursing Home||(507) 835-2800|
|White Bear Lake||Century College|
|White Bear Lake||Century College Online|
|Winona||Saint Anne Of Winona|
The State requires CNA classes in Minnesota to be at least 75 hours of training and 16 hours must be clinical training. When evaluating programs, keep the following points in mind.
One curriculum is offered through the American Red Cross which leads to CNA/CPR/AED certification. AED is the acronym for “Automated External Defibrillator.” There is a separate curriculum used at colleges, training facilities and long-term care facilities. Students can choose to complete a CNA course or a CNA/HHA course.
Credit Versus Non-Credit
Most CNA courses are structured as non-credit courses. However, schools like Century College in White Bear Lake offer credit and non-credit options. The curriculums are identical, but the credit course requires enrolling in the college, whereas that is not necessary when taking the non-credit course. The two advantages of choosing a credit course is that the four credits can be applied towards a degree should the student choose to pursue one now or in the future. Also, credit courses are eligible for financial aid.
Blended Online/Skills Training
The Zandu Health Initiative in Bloomington offers a CNA training program that consists of online courses, on-campus skills training in a laboratory setting and 16 hours of supervised clinical experience.
Day or Evening Classes
Certified Nursing Assistant programs are offered during the day and evening to accommodate the various schedules of students. Evening classes are an excellent choice for people who are employed and interested in a career change.
Work and Train at the Same Time
Federal law allows students to work for 120 days (four months) at a nursing home or long-term care facility while training to become a CNA and/or getting on the Minnesota Registry. The exception discussed earlier is someone who is not enrolled in a state-approved CNA training program.
CNA programs in Minnesota can take anywhere from three weeks to a semester to complete, depending on the type of class chosen. Most can be completed within 3-4 weeks.
Step 3: Review the Training Costs
CNA training costs in Minnesota can range from free to approximately $1,250 at the Red Cross. Rates at the various schools can change at any time.
There are several ways to get free training:
- Work at a nursing home or long-term care facility while training – The employer will pay for training costs while the student also earns income.
- Get employed within 12 months of completing training – Federal law requires a nursing home or long-term facility to reimburse a new employee for training costs if the person completed CNA training within the last 12 months.
- Apply for WIOA funds – The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds training costs for eligible students. Check with the nearest workforce training center.
- Apply for scholarships – Sometimes, the financial aid office or program staff can direct students to possible sources of funding, like private scholarships.
Step 4: Meet the Prerequisites
Prerequisites are conditions that must be met before a student is allowed to register for a CNA training class in Minnesota. The prerequisites include the following:
- Show proof of a high school diploma and or GED
- Pass a background check with fingerprinting
- Show proof of a negative TB test within the prior six months
- Show proof of immunizations
- Must be 16 years of age or older
- Score high enough on an assessment score test for reading comprehension and English proficiency
Step 5: Complete Nursing Assistant Training
Coursework and clinical skills covers all the information and skills required by federal and state law and are those considered important to quality patient and resident care. Training will include a minimum of 59 hours of classroom and 16 hours of hands-on training in a clinical setting for a total of 75 hours. Some programs in Minnesota may require additional training hours.
What to Learn During CNA Training
Topics covered include but are not limited to:
- Basic nursing care
- Feeding and nutrition
- Taking and recording vital signs
- Human physiology
- Client safety
- Personal protection
- Transferring and moving patients and residents
- Infection control
- Patient and resident grooming and personal care
- Assisting with mobility and restoration of mobility
- Positioning clients in bed
- Client rights
- Legal and ethical behavior
- Mental health
What to Learn During a NA/HHA Training Program
If training to be a NA/HHA, topics will also include:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Care of infants, children and adolescents with special needs
- Care of the person at home
- Safety and home management
Clinical training is conducted under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The CNA in Minnesota also works under the supervision of the RN or LPN.
Step 6: Take and Pass the Certification Exam
The Minnesota Department of Health contracted with Pearson VUE to develop, score and report the results of the Nurse Assistant and Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide exams used in the testing process. The MDOH determines content. The CNA exam that the student registers for depends on the training program completing. It is important to take the right written test in order for it to count towards certification in Minnesota. The skills test is the same for either type of trainee – NA or NA/HHA.
There are two parts to the NNAAP exam – Written Examination and Skills Evaluation. Applicants are allowed three attempts within two years of completing training to pass both parts of the exam. The exception is the applicant already working in a nursing home or long-term care facility. That person must pass both parts of the exam within four months of initial employment.
The applicant who is not working and does not pass the exam within two years will have to retrain and retest. The applicant who is working will not be allowed to continue working after 120 days.
The nurse aide Written Examination has 70 multiple-choice questions. There is also an Oral Examination version available. The testing program for the NA/HHA trainees is called the NA/HHA Combined Program and it also has 70 questions. It will include questions about nursing assistant and home health aide tasks and responsibilities.
The Skills Evaluation consists of completing five skills that were taught and practiced during training. A fellow candidate will act as a client. Handwashing is always one of the skills the candidate is asked to perform. The remaining four skills are randomly chosen. To pass this part of the exam, all five skills must be successfully performed.
A CNA in good standing on the Nursing Assistant Registry may be able to get certified as a NA/HHA if he or she completed a 75-hour state-approved nursing assistant program, passed both parts of the nurse aide exam and completed an approved home health aide training program. In that case, it may only be necessary to take and pass the NA/HHA Written Examination and not the Skills Evaluation.
Step 7: Get Name on the Registry
After passing both parts of the exam, Pearson VUE will send the candidate’s name to the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry. At that point, the person can be hired as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Certified Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide, depending on the training and exam successfully completed.
How to Keep Certification Active
CNA certification in Minnesota is good for two years or 24 months from the date the CNA passed both parts of the competency exam. To renew CNA certification, the CNA must be able to provide employer verification of having worked at least eight hours as a paid CNA during the 24-month certification period.
If the certification expires, it may be necessary to retest if Route 4 was initially followed. If Routes 1-3 were chosen, it may be necessary to train or retain, and retest. If the applicant did work the eight hours and allowed the certification to lapse, it may be possible to submit proof of employment and get recertified.
Career Outlook and Salary for CNAs in Minnesota
The CNA can work in a hospital, medical clinic, certified boarding care home, nursing home, long-term care facility, rehabilitation center and hospice. The NA/HHA can work in these facilities plus provide in-home services.
The projection for growth in the number of CNA jobs in Minnesota for the period 2014-2024 is 8.2 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics annual wage survey reported an average annual CNA salary of $30,610 in Minnesota. This is higher than the average salary for the United States which was $27,650. | See Job Openings
CNA Salaries in Minnesota
|MN CNA Salaries||Empl.||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage||Wage percent relative std. error||Hourly 10th % wage||Hourly median wage||Hourly 90th % wage||Annual 10th % wage||Annual median wage||Annual 90th % wage|
|Mankato-North Mankato, MN||780||13.71||28530||5.0||10.37||13.35||18.24||21580||27770||37940|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||16240||15.73||32730||1.8||11.73||15.63||20.39||24400||32520||42420|
|Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||740||13.54||28170||3.5||10.20||13.24||17.83||21220||27540||37090|
|Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||3350||13.06||27160||2.0||10.23||12.71||17.04||21270||26430||35430|
|Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||2660||12.66||26340||2.2||10.20||12.22||15.62||21230||25420||32500|
|Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||2430||12.77||26560||2.3||10.13||12.27||16.51||21070||25530||34340|
|St. Cloud, MN||1280||14.69||30560||2.9||11.61||14.46||18.57||24140||30070||38620|
Get Certification in Other States
If you want to become a CNA in a nearby state in 2017, visit the following pages: