Share this story...
coronavirus-healthcare, nursing assistant
Latest News

Org offers tuition-free nursing assistant training, guaranteeing a job

Nurse Karen Hayes administers care to a patient in the acute care COVID-19 unit at Harborview Medical Center on May 7, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

One thing the pandemic has demonstrated is that we need more health care workers, and so there’s a new organization designed to train nursing assistants. It’s called Next Step. It was started by Chris Hedrick, and the way it works is that if you want a job, you can get the training without paying any tuition, and they guarantee you a nursing assistant job at the conclusion of the course.

“There’s a caregiver crisis in this country that even before the pandemic was driven by the demographic changes of an aging population. There aren’t nearly enough people to take care of people that are turning 65 — [that’s] 10,000 people every day,” Hedrick told Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross.

“And so we tried to create a new organization with a new approach to fill that need.”

The program provides training tuition-free to people who want to become a certified nursing assistant. As Dave asked, how do they pull off a tuition-free course without there being a catch of some kind?

“Well, the gap between supply and demand for certified nursing assistants is so large that the employers who are primarily long-term care facilities are willing to provide us with a one-time placement fee for every highly qualified person that we can bring them. So we’re recruiting, training, certifying, and guaranteeing a job to anybody that wants to become a certified nursing assistant,” Hedrick responded.

Mercer Island MD: ‘Not possible’ for genetic material in COVID vaccines to harm DNA

“We’ve done it in Colorado–became the largest provider of certified nursing assistants quickly in that state, and we aim to do the same thing in Washington state.”

In a sense, they’re motivated to provide effective training because they get paid as long as they’re good.

“Yeah, and we guarantee that they will stick around. There was an article in The New York Times this morning that showed that for these job roles in nursing homes nationwide, there’s an over 100% turnover,” he said.

UW expert on how ‘genetic ancestry’ can impact reactions to medical treatments

“And we try to find people that are motivated to become caregivers that have the empathetic point of view that’s required to be good and to stick around in that kind of job, give them the very best training that we can that’s a combination of online and in-person, and then place them with employers where there’s a really good fit.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Most Popular