Minnesota is a state undergoing transformation every day, from what was once an agricultural haven to a tech and business paradise, hosting several Fortune 500 company headquarters within its boundaries. This makes it an attractive state to build your career, and this means a rising requirement for effective healthcare. An essential part of this are Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), and starting here can be the beginning of a spectacular career in medicine.
The state of Minnesota requires CNAs to complete a four-month training and examination period and obtain their names on the state Nurse Aide Registry before they may begin their employment. The role is especially hands-on in Minnesota, with many CNAs serving as nutrition helpers, monitoring vital signs, and even seeing to the emotional and social needs of their patients. If this essential job sounds like something that interests you, the following information may help.
Minnesota CNA Certification Requirements
There are no formal restrictions in terms of education over who may apply for nurse aide training and undertake the state examination. However, many testing sites and training centers set up their own requirements, often requiring a GED or other proof of formal education. Some other prerequisites include:
- Reaching 18 years of age
- Passing a background check and fingerprinting test
- Passing a physical examination to check for contagion
- Negative drug test
- Negative TB test
- Current immunization records
Minnesota CNA Training & Testing Costs
To gain a CNA certification in the state of Minnesota you must pass a state-approved course. It is a minimum of 75 hours (usually longer) and must have 59 hours of classroom and 16 hours of clinical learning. There are two options for training; the CNA training developed by the Minnesota State Colleges or the CNA training offered by the American Red Cross. In both cases, the actual training lasts between three and ten weeks, depending on when and how often classes take place.
Examination costs vary depending on your location and program. Typically, CNA classes in Minnesota will cost around $700 for tuition. Many courses offer flexible payment plans and there is limited state funding available for those on a low income. More than half of approved CNA training programs in the state are associated with nursing homes and sometimes may sponsor training (offer it for free) in exchange for employment afterward. The total cost of the written, skills, and oral test is $124.
To look into free training access, please follow this link.
Free CNA Classes & Nurse Aide Training Courses in Minnesota
If becoming a CNA in Minnesota is starting to sound like a good opportunity, we encourage you to check out the following training centers to see if they’re a good fit for your current situation and schedule. Some of these locations may offer free CNA classes, while others may be tuition-based. Please contact them directly if you have questions on their curriculum or costs.
CNA Training in Minneapolis, MN
Augustana Care This is a free training program in exchange for employment after its completion. It is specifically aimed at adults who are looking for a career change who specifically want to work with the elderly.
Accredited School of Nursing Assistant This is a fast-tracked, three-week course, aimed at fitting around the student’s life and helping them prepare as quickly as possible to work as a CNA. The $1000 total price tag may seem steep, but also includes registration and background check fees, and help is offered for those on a low-income for other incremental costs. As well, they offer a two-part payment plan and a discounted price under certain circumstances.
International Institute of Minnesota This is another free program, aimed specifically at new Americans hoping to kickstart their medical careers. This includes naturalized citizens, refugees, permanent residents, or those with a work visa. Course materials are also free, and 98% of graduates end up employed.
CNA Training in St. Paul, MN.
Guadalupe Alternative Programs (GAP School) Specifically aimed at young adults, this program offers free tuition and the opportunity to also train for your high school diploma or GED while preparing for your healthcare career. The website offers a directory where the CNA instructor can be contacted directly, and you can also call the school at 651.222.0757 for more information.
Inver Hills Community College As well as preparing you for the CNA exam, this seven-week college course counts as five credits towards an overall college degree. It can be used as a foundation for the college’s wider nursing program. Tuition and course fees come to around $1000.
CNA Training in Rochester, MN
Winona State College Southeast This is an 80-hour college course (60 classroom, 20 clinical) that awards three college credits as well as preparing you for the CNA examination. Tuition is $578.29 including all books and other incremental fees.
Samaritan Bethany, Inc. The best thing about this course is that it minimizes class sizes in order to provide the best tuition possible. There are never more than ten people to a class, and it is taught by a registered nurse. They offer full and part-time evening classes. Tuition is $575, including textbooks.
Additional Minnesota CNA resources
The above information can likely get you started on your path to becoming a CNA in the state of Minnesota, however, the links below may also be helpful in your educational path or in the future after you’ve gained your CNA certification.
Minnesota Nurse Aide Registry
To contact the Minnesota Nurse Aide Registry use the information below:
Minnesota Nurse Aide Registry
Minnesota Department of Health
85 East 7th Place Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55164-0501
Phone: (651) 215-8705 | (800) 397-6124 (in state only)
Fax: (651) 215-8709
Out of State CNAs
Qualified, active CNAs from other states can transfer their registration to Minnesota by following a simple process. If they are inactive in their home state, it is possible to take the examination for certification in Minnesota without having to do classes first. The process for transferring the license is as follows:
- Complete section A-1 on the Interstate Endorsement Form and send this to your home state’s nurse registry.
- Complete section B-1 and send it to your current employer for proof of employment.
- Submit the whole application, free of charge, to the Minnesota Nurse Registry.
After two years, as long as you have worked at least eight hours in that period, the Department of Health will mail out a renewal application 45 days before your license expires, which can be completed and sent back for renewal. If you have not worked in the two-year period, your name is ineligible for the registry.
How much does a CNA make in Minnesota?
Like any job, CNA salary varies depending on where in the state you work, in which institution, and in which industry. CNAs working in scientific research will likely earn significantly more than those working in private companies and homes, for example. Those in urban areas are likely to earn more than rural areas, but of course, the cost of living will be higher as a result. On average, the hourly pay for a CNA is $16.21, or a yearly salary of $33,710. This is likely to rise as experience and education increase.