nursing assistantNursing Assistants are foundational in providing person-centered, care to patients, residents and clients in various healthcare facilities. Many people begin their nursing careers as Nursing Assistants and then go on to earn further nursing credentials. Others choose to remain in this rewarding career. At South Central College, the Nursing Assistant course is a four-credit course that teaches you how to safely assist clients with basic physical and emotional needs and prepares you for the MN Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide exam and skills evaluation.

Upon successful completion of the Nursing Assistant course, you will be able to take the Minnesota State Registry Test. In order to be listed on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry, you will need to pass the Minnesota State Registry Test. Once on the registry, you will qualify to work in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other medical services facilities. The course also serves as a stepping stone to further education in nursing and satisfies requirements necessary for SCC Nursing program application.

Nursing continues to be one of the most respected careers in the healthcare field. South Central College is proud to have been training competent, compassionate and confident nurses for over 50 years. With a large variety of nursing specialties available in the field of nursing, once you complete your education as a nurse and successfully pass your NCLEX exams, you’ll have a host of optional career areas on which to focus.

South Central College’s (SCC) Nursing Program is committed to excellence and provides valuable educational preparation through classroom, lab, simulation and clinical experiences. SCC offers two nursing programs; a Practical Nursing Diploma and an Associate of Science in Nursing Degree.

Prior to taking the Nursing Assistant course and obtaining employment, you will be required to undergo a background check. If you do not pass this, you will be disqualified from working in a healthcare facility and will not be allowed to continue in the Nursing Assistant course or advance to other nursing programs.
Location: Faribault and North Mankato Campuses
Admission Dates: Fall and Spring Semesters


Steps to search for the Nursing Assistant (CNA) course:

To view upcoming dates for the Nursing Assistant course, individuals may go here to search for classes. From that link, individuals should select a campus that is most convenient for them (either Faribault or North Mankato). Once the intended campus is selected, individuals will be taken to a search screen.

At the search screen, ensure that the intended semester is selected:  Fall, Spring, or Summer. Then go to the “Subject” category. Scroll down from the drop-down arrow and select “Nursing-Nursing Assistant (HCTC)" to view the Nursing Assistant courses offered. Once the correct subject is selected, click on the “Search”  button.  A selection of class times and dates will be visible to choose from.

Register for the Nursing Assistant (HCTC 1886) course:

Individuals may register one of two ways for the Nursing Assistant (HCTC 1886) course.

  • Register as a “visiting student” either on-line or submit the paper Registration Form: "Non-Degree Seeking Student Form" with the necessary billing information filled out. Instructions on how to register as a non-degree seeking student also provides important information. For specific questions on registration for this course, students may contact the Registration Department at 507-389-7250.
  • Students may also take the Nursing Assistant course as part of their educational plan as a degree-seeking student depending on the major that they are pursuing like Nursing.  To become a degree-seeking new student or transfer student, please go to our Admissions website to begin the process.

Certified Nursing Assistant Test-Out:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be well-prepared for the Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide Competency Test through the state of Minnesota. To become a Certified Nursing Assistant, students must take this state exam. Registration for the exam is done through the Center for Business and Industry department at our college.

For detailed information with test-out, dates, fees, etc., please visit our Nursing Assistant Test Site webpage facilitated by the Center for Business & Industry.



You are eligible to take the examinations for certification as a nursing assistant or nursing assistant/home health aide in Minnesota if you qualify under one of the following routes:

  1. NA CANDIDATE: You have completed a state-approved nursing assistant training program. You must take the NA written and skills evaluation tests.
  2. NA/HHA CANDIDATE: You have completed a state-approved nursing assistant/home health aide training program. You must take the NA/HHA written and skills evaluation tests.
  3. TEST-OUT CANDIDATE: You are a candidate who does not meet any of the other eligibility routes listed above. Examples are:
  • if you were trained in another country
  • if you have not taken a nursing assistant program
  • if you have not worked as a nursing assistant in the last two years
  • if you are from another state and do not qualify for reciprocity in Minnesota
  • if you are a student nurse or graduate nurse candidate. You must take the NA written and skills evaluation tests.

What Nursing Assistant Students Say

Nursing Majors

Many start by getting their Nursing Assistant certificate before moving on to their two-year nursing diploma (to become an LPN) or associate degree (to become an RN). Savvy students earn their associate degree, take (and pass) the RN exam, and then work in the field while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.