SCC Success Stories

Photo of nursing assistant taking patient's blood pressure

For over a decade, South Central College (SCC) has been an approved test site for the Minnesota State Registry Test for Nursing Assistants, certifying qualified nursing assistants to work in long-term care facilities to meet our community’s health care needs.

According to employment data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, nursing assistants remain the sixth highest-demand job in Minnesota. Over the past year, SCC’s Customized Workforce Education division has provided Nursing Assistant certification exams for over 1000 candidates at both North Mankato and Faribault campuses, including exams for hundreds of candidates who were trained under the Next Generation Nursing Assistant initiative.

The Next Generation Nursing Assistant initiative began in December 2021, at a time when long-term care facilities were experiencing severe staffing shortages amid the pandemic. At that time, Governor Tim Walz set a goal for the State of Minnesota to recruit and train 1,000 new nursing assistants using Federal American Recovery Plan funds to provide participants with free training, books, uniforms, and certification exams.

The state surpassed this goal in less than three months with the partnership of state agencies, higher education institutions, and long-term care providers. And in September 2022, Governor Walz announced another investment to continue Minnesota’s free nursing assistant training and testing program through February 2023 to further strengthen the state’s health care workforce pipeline.

“By bolstering our health care workforce and providing pathways to life-long careers, this initiative continues to benefit Minnesotans in the short- and long-term. I’m proud to invest in a program that strengthens our health care workforce, eliminates barriers to entry into high-demand careers, and supports the health of our state,” said Governor Walz. “The success of this program is a testament to Minnesota’s ability to collaboratively address complex problems.”

As Southern Minnesota’s premier Nursing Assistant Registry Test site, South Central College will continue to offer Nursing Assistant certification exams at both campuses monthly, adding more test dates as needed to accommodate workforce demands. Learn more at